Life for rosé drinkers has never been better. An increasing global thirst for the style has seen an explosion in t he number of winemakers turning their hands to what were generally considered simple wines. France is no longer the undisputed king of rosé as many countries are now producing some seriously good wines.
2018 Les Pallières Au Petit Bonheur Rosé, Rhône Valley, France, A$45
Out of the same stable responsible for the famed Vieux Télégraphe from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, this wine is made from grenache, cinsault and clairette that is fermented and aged in oak. It shows the sheer class you would expect with gently perfumed red and floral fruits complemented by plenty of savoury complexity. There are hints of baked earth, meat and spice thrown in, too, on a palate that is well balanced, long and fine.
2018 Bastide de la Ciselette Bandol Rosé, Provence, France, A$44
The town of Bandol on the French Mediterranean coast is home to some of the country’s finest rosé. This is a lighter style of Bandol made from organically and biodynamically grown fruit, and it delivers plenty of personality. It’s immediately complex with bacon fat, meat, baked cherry and earthy spice. Then it’s bone dry and powerful with fruit, with grainy tannins making for an exceptional food style.
2019 Miraval Rosé, Provence, France, A$35
Château Miraval burst on the scene with their 2012 vintage, which sold out in hours. Made from cinsault, grenache, syrah and rolle, this is a classic Provence style with impressive complexity. There is some wild raspberry fruit but the overriding character is its savoury side of spice and earth, with a touch of peach skin. There is a silky texture to the wine, too, and understated power that makes it a significant step up above many other regional styles.
2018 Weingut Bründlmayer Brut Rosé, NiederÖsterreich, Austria, A$32
Crafted from Zweigelt, this is an incredibly pretty and fine rosé style from one of Austria’s top winemakers based close to the Kamp River. It is very pale pink in colour, and bursts with complex floral, strawberry, green herb, spice and earthy fruits. The wine is crisp with a finely balanced touch of sweetness making for a refreshing and vibrant style, topped off with a long and drying finish.
2018 Cillar de Silos Rosado, Ribera del Duero, Spain, A$40
A quite deeply coloured, full-bodied, flavoursome and food-friendly rosé from Ribera del Duero. Largely made from tempranillo, with some surprise additions of albillo, tempranillo blanc and verdejo along with garnacha negre. The fruit is complex but savoury and reserved, ranging from red cherry and cranberry, to herbs and spice. It is full-bodied with some light tannic grip that drives its long finish.
2019 Domaine Houchart Sainte Victoire Rosé, Provence, France, A$40
A modern example of Provence rosé that is a deep salmon pink in colour. It is powerful and fruit-forward, with strawberry and cream aromas lifted by some regional herbs and spice. The wine is dry and full-bodied with attractive fruit impact on the palate, which is powerful and long. It has the character to drink equally well with or without food.
2019 La Mule Rosé, Provence, France, A$11
There is so much to like about this French rosé, exclusive to Aldi, with winemaking overseen by François Lurton. It has a classic pale salmon colour and impressive savoury complexity – wild strawberry and cherry with local dried herbs, baked earth and meat. The palate is then dry and juicy, with good concentration of sweet fruits that drive a lingering finish. Great value.
2018 Chêne Bleu Le Rosé, Vaucluse, Rhône Valley, France, A$49
Chêne Bleu is situated on the top of a hill, close to the towns of Rasteau and Gigondas. The wine is pale in colour and aromatically exotic with some almost mandarin and floral notes on top of more traditional wild strawberry, earth and spice. It is then quite fresh on the palate, mid-weight and bone dry, with generous and supple fruits, and a lingering finish. Best with food and has the stuffing to match up with whole baked fish.
2018 Famille Perrin Réserve Côtes du Rhône Rosé, Rhône Valley, France, A$26
The Perrin family are best known as the custodians of Château de Beaucastel. This wine is their generic Rhône Valley rosé made from cinsault, grenache, mourvèdre and syrah. It is a fuller, richer style with layers of red fruits lifted by floral and spicy complexity. Dry with low acidity, this wine makes for early casual drinking with a good complexity that is well suited to charcuterie and soft cheese.
2019 Loimer Rosé, NiederÖsterreich, Austria, A$25
A unique Austrian rosé made from a combination of Zweigelt and pinot noir fruit. It is pale pink in colour and has layers of sweet red fruits; the raspberry, strawberry and cranberry are lifted by herbal and earthy nuances with a distinct savoury edge. Very fresh and angular on the palate with balanced sweetness, this is a wine best matched with subtly spicy dishes.
2019 La Vieille Ferme Rosé, Rhône Valley, France, A$18
A well-known rosé that is easy to track down, Vieille Ferme is a cinsault, grenache and syrah blend grown around Mont Ventoux in the Southern Rhône Valley. Pale pink in colour, it is a ripe, generous and fruit-forward French style with layers of sweet raspberry and strawberry fruits plus a touch of local dried herbs. It is dry, mouth-filling and full-bodied on the palate with lowish acidity, making for an easy-drinking and supple style.
2019 Réserve de la Famille Drouet Cabernet Franc Rosé, Loire Valley, France, A$9
This rosé comes from the Loire Valley and is made in the traditional off-dry style of Cabernet d’Anjou. It is a pretty and balanced wine, with watermelon and strawberry fruits underpinned by bright and crisp acidity. It is lightweight and not overly sweet – making for a juicy and refreshing style built for the warmer months. A massive crowd-pleaser for fans of sweeter rosé styles, it is also a good match for gently spicy dishes.
During the past decade, we have seen everything from generic Beaujolais to wines from top crus achieve elevated status in the eyes of fine wine lovers. The region’s food-friendly style has become a desirable addition to any serious collection.
2018 Château Thivin Côte de Brouilly, Beaujolais, France, A$55
Despite its delicate colour, the wine is immediately expressive with green herb, spice and meaty complexity sitting on a blanket of wild red cherry fruit. The palate shows exceptional purity, with bright, fresh and focused fruits, beautifully vibrant and supported by some sinewy tannins on a long and elegant finish. Delicious now, but it also has the structure and balance to improve in bottle over the next 5-8 years.
2017 Domaine de Javernière Côte du Py Morgon, Beaujolais, France, A$35
From the powerhouse of Georges Duboeuf comes this classic Morgon with brooding and masculine ripe dark cherry and earthy fruits. There is also superb purity and balance. The palate takes that line even further with blocky and rustic fruit still wound up in some quite significant tannins. It is powerful with a long finish, too, but needs time to unfurl – best drinking in 4-10 years.
2016 JJ Vincent Juliénas, Beaujolais, France, A$38
Now with some bottle age, this Cru Beaujolais is close to its peak, with primary dark cherry and dried herbs lifted by complex layers of bacon fat, baked earth and dried spice, while keeping youthful vitality. The wine is mid-weight with balanced acidity; the fruit is powerful, yet retains the pretty signature and supple tannins of Juliénas, which drive its lingering and subtle finish. Lots to love about this wine.
2018 Dominique Piron Beaujolais-Villages, Beaujolais, France, A$27
This is a serious attempt at Beaujolais Villages where plenty of effort has been made to craft a wine that tops many Cru Beaujolais. It is a pretty and complex style - concentrated mineral elements with meat and spice sit over raspberry and floral aromas. The palate is more dense and rustic than expected, with ripe dark berry fruits and it finishes with good length. Drinks well now but has the stuffing to improve over the next five years.
2018 Laurent Perrachon Morgon Corcelette, Beaujolais, France, A$44
Made with fruit sourced from the Corcelette area of Morgon, this is a very well-priced and elegant introduction to the wines from this famous village. There are classic bubble gum, dark cherry and herbal flavours on a palate that is fleshy and ripe. Morgon shows itself more on the dry palate with a rustic edge to the tannins, which are well matched to the supple fruit. This is an early drinking wine, probably best over the next 3-4 years.
2018 Henry Fessy Beaujolais Vieilles Vignes, Beaujolais, France, A$20
Henry Fessy is one of the larger producers in Beaujolais, and this is an honest and full-flavoured Beaujolais Villages. It is quite big and ripe thanks to an average vine age of 51 years. Fleshy dark cherry and dried herb fruit flavours with balanced acidity result in a hearty, food-friendly style of Beaujolais with earthy and spicy complexity to finish. It has the power and weight to match with roast chicken.
Long considered Spain’s premier fine wine region and the spiritual home of tempranillo, Rioja is not only the source of some of the country’s best wines, but also many reliable bargains, with less oaky modern styles fast gaining traction.
2015 Bodegas Roda Reserva, Rioja, Spain, A$115
A spectacular modern Rioja, this wine retains its vibrant youthful fruit despite five years in barrel and bottle. The fruit is powerful, even and embryonic – blackberry, spice and earth with floral overtones and superb oak integration. The palate is the classic iron fist in a velvet glove with understated yet powerful fruit immaculately balanced with fine but significant tannins finishing long and strong. It needs at least a decade to show its best.
2015 Bodega Lanzaga Lanzaga, Rioja, Spain, A$90
The aim of Bodega Lanzaga is to craft wines that rediscover the true taste of Rioja, showcasing terroir and varietal characters over oak. The Lanzaga is an unusual regional expression dominated by spicy, earthy, almost truffle, aromas over its dark berry fruits, with oak in the background. It has generous, although understated, fruits that are highly complex and drive a long, expressive finish. Exceptional balance promises good ageing potential.
2018 Alegre Valgañón Tempranillo Garnacha, Rioja, Spain, A$50
Made with fruit grown on some of the highest and coolest vineyards in Rioja, this blend of tempranillo and garnacha has fantastic drinkability, with its bright and juicy aromas of raspberry and pomegranate fruits supported by tobacco and spice. It is unusually acid-driven but all beautifully balanced having swallowed 26 months in oak to provide a palate that is light on its feet.
2017 Bodegas Patrocinio Sancho Garcés Crianza, Rioja, Spain, A$19
This is a very well-priced Rioja with surprising complexity and concentration. It shows layers of sweet blackberry and raspberry fruit supported by earth and spice, all wrapped up in a blanket of reserved oak. It is only medium-weight but is quite powerful on the palate providing a mouthful of attractive flavour that ends with sandy tannins supporting a long finish. A proper Rioja under $20, so well worth tracking down.
2016 Conde Valdemar Crianza, Rioja, Spain, A$25
Conde de Valdemar has been a reliable source of well-priced Rioja for more than 30 years. This is a user-friendly and traditional style made largely from tempranillo. The wine has layers of savoury baked dark fruits, earth and spice, all well balanced with prominent American oak. The fruit has good power on a dry and mid-weight palate with supple tannins, suggesting it is a wine that is best enjoyed over the next 3-5 years.
2016 Torres Altos Ibericos Crianza, Rioja, Spain, A$26
This is a more modern Rioja expression from Spain’s largest family owned winery, Bodegas Torres. A slick style made from 100% tempranillo, bold and bright with intense mulberry and dark plum fruit enhanced by sweet oak. The palate is slightly more traditional, with touches of meat and spice complemented by supple tannins that support a mouth-filling finish – with toasty oak remaining a strong feature throughout.