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  • James-Paul Marin / Enfant Terrible

Rosé Romance - Part 1

Rose Bottles

I have been making Rosé wines since 2000 with my first vintage being during my internship at Scarpantoni Wines of McLaren Vale. I have since made every style of Rosé imaginable in France, Italy, New Zealand and here in Australia; employing most of the available old and new world wine making techniques and grape varieties. These wines have ranged from 3 bottles for £10 in the UK (commercial) to $35+ per bottle here in Australia (super premium).

‘Pink wine’ was once the domain of females, however this summer just passed, I noticed there was a big shift in the drinking demographic of my Enfant Terrible Rosé. Male drinkers have embraced the drink to make it what has been deemed ‘the Summer of Brosé.’ There was also a trend, that I expect will continue, for Frosé (frozen Rosé) on hot summer days.

In this 3 part Rosé series, I will discuss;

1) Rosé Styles (colour, taste & flavour)

2) Winemaking Techniques & Varieties

3) My new 2017 Enfant Terrible Jacqueline Rosé

Part 1: Rosé Styles (colour, taste & flavour)

Rosé wines can range from pale orange, to salmon pink through to florescent purple depending on the winemaking techniques employed and grape varieties used.

Rosé wines can be made still (no bubbles), with a spritz (fine bubble like an Appletiser) or carbonated (Coke like bubbles). The most common style is ‘still’ with no bubbles. The reason for this is that Moscato and Prosecco have crowded out the slightly spritz category, while Champagne that has been stripped of colour via carbon fining (removing the pink colour) now dominates the carbonated market.

The range of sweetness levels in Rosé is from bone-dry with no residual sugar (Provençal Rosé – traditional French Style) to very sweet with over 100 grams of sugar per litre. In the past there has been a strong inverse relationship between price and sweetness, however as the consumer’s palate has developed regarding sweetness and acidity balance in wine, - sugar levels have been consistently falling over the past 15 years.

In regards to flavour, I would break Rosé into three simple flavour profiles:

1) Green & Acidic Flavours – lemon, lime, citrus, mint and tart cherry

2) Sweet and Tropical Fruit Flavours: - grapefruit, strawberry, passionfruit and sweet cherry

3) Ripe Darker Fruits: - black currant, blackberry, red pepper and dark cherry

I look forward to sharing the varieties and techniques that I have employed to make different styles of Rosé over the years with you.

Please share or leave your questions and comments below and follow me if you wish to keep up to date with my latest wine ramblings.

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