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the best Rosé dozen FOR 2021

With its incredible array of colours, price points and regions of origin, the booming rosé category is getting tougher to navigate – but we're here to help. From the classic and complex pale Provence styles to grenache, pinot noir and nebbiolo driven-Australian versions – not to mention the newly established Prosecco Rosé DOC – these are the bottles we’ll be stocking up on for the rest of summer.


Tamar Ridge's Kayena Vineyard in Tasmania.

2019 AIX Rosé, Provence (A$35)

Originating in the vineyards at the 135-year-old Domaine de la Grande Séouve in the heart of AOP Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Maison Saint Aix focuses on creating the world’s best possible rosé. The nose is aromatic and fresh with ripe red fruits on the palate. Delicate acidity provides a long and balanced finish. This typical Provence blend of grenache, syrah and cinsault is perfect for year-round enjoyment.

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2020 Paul Mas Le Rosé, Pays d’Oc (A$16)

From the newly crowned 2020 European winery of the year, this French rosé is a skilful blend of grenache gris, grenache noir, pinot gris, caladoc and cinsault, all crafted from fruit sourced across the sunny Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France. It’s a soft and delicate yet zesty, tongue-tingly wine serving up bags of flavour and texture – perfect for poolside sipping.

2020 Jacob’s Creek Le Petit Rosé, Australia (A$18)

From selected blocks of pinot noir, grenache and mataro comes this fresh and delicate rosé showcasing a modern Australian approach. Aromas of strawberries and spice make way for a bright and refreshing palate, with juicy raspberries complemented by savoury notes and a long, dry finish. Best with light savoury dishes such as quiche, charcuterie and fresh seafood.

2020 Amisfield Pinot Noir Rosé, Central Otago (A$27/NZ$30)

Grown within the Waenga silty loam soils of Amisfield’s lower terraces, the pinot noir grapes for this rosé express bright berry flavours with a light tannin profile. A lifted floral nose with rosewater and strawberry fruit leads to crisp palate of crunchy Red Delicious apple, ripe raspberry and cream flavours before a fine, dry finish. An excellent and refreshing expression of Central Otago pinot noir.

2020 Naturalis Organic Rosé, McLaren Vale (A$18)

Light blushing pink in colour, this organic
rosé is crafted from fruit sourced from the Riverland vineyards of the Angove family – one of Australia’s leading lights when it comes to organic viticulture and winemaking. Aromas of blueberry, strawberry and a hint of lime precede a crunchy, full-flavoured palate, finishing with crispness and length.

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2020 Marchand & Burch Villages Rosé, Western Australia (A$28)

A blend of shiraz and pinot noir from Great Southern and old-vine grenache from the Swan Valley, this rosé opens up to reveal smoky strawberry, musk, vanilla cream and red fruit aromas. The palate is fresh with orchard fruits, mixed berries and fennel flavours, melding sweet and savoury notes with a chalky texture, and a long, clean and dry finish.

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2019 BABO Prosecco Rosé DOC Brut, Friuli Venezia Giulia (A$28)

Under his Italian wine brand BABO Australian winemaker Justin Bubb has produced one of the first prosecco rosés to reach Australia. Blended from 89% glera and 11% pinot nero from vineyards in San Martino al Tagliamento. It shows a fine and persistent bead, and a bouquet full of fruity raspberry and blackberry notes. With only 8g residual sugar, it has a fresh and crisp (but not overly dry) finish. Perfect.

2018 Head Rosé, Barossa (A$25)

From a biodynamically grown grenache vineyard picked specifically for rosé, winemaker Alex Head adds a small amount of barrel-fermented viognier for texture, apricot aroma and perceived sweetness. Pink grapefruit, apricot, stone fruit and raspberry aromas lead to a textural palate of citrus and strawberry and a dry, persistent finish. Perfect with or without food/clothes.

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2020 Pizzini Rosetta, King Valley (A$19)

It’s no surprise that the Pizzini family, widely regarded as Australia’s masters of the great grape varieties of Italy, would look to the savouriness and complexity of nebbiolo and sangiovese for their rosé. Aromas of fresh raspberries with subtle herbal and cherry undertones, this is a typical King Valley-style of wine: elegant, layered, savoury and delicious.

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2020 Shadowfax Minnow Rosé, Werribee & Pyrenees (A$24)

An intricate blend of pinot noir, cinsault, mourvedre and syrah grown at Shadowfax’s Werribee vineyard, with 20% Pyrenees grenache added for spice, this rosé shows peaches and cream, liquorice and mandarin aromas. The palate is fleshy and textured, with fine, lacey tannins and fresh, crunchy acidity. Try it alongside avocado toast with smoked salmon, or a classic pork banh mi.

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2020 Freeman Rondo Rosé, Hilltops (A$20)

Beguiling salmon pink, summer berries, cream, texture and spice, this is unquestionably one of Australia’s favourite prestige rosés, crafted from the rare Italian variety rondinella – hence the name ‘Rondo’. A passion project of one-time academic Brian Freeman, who established the family estate in 1999 in NSW’s Hilltops, it offers seriously seductive summer sipping.

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2020 Mérite Rosé, Wrattonbully (A$24)

Mérite are developing a reputation for pushing the envelope when it comes to Australian merlot, and this salmon-hued and naturally bright zesty rosé is testament to their efforts. It was made in the classic saignée method and highlights the flavours created by newer clones of merlot – think cranberry, blood orange, rhubarb and savoury herb notes. Made using vegan-
friendly winemaking practices; best served chilled.

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