15 rosés to drink now

Pale dry rosés

Pale dry rosés

Everything's coming up rosé as local winemakers broaden the spectrum of pink potential.

Australia's love affair with rosé shows no sign of waning - new pink wines are popping up all the time in bottle-shop fridges and on wine lists. We did a big rosé tasting only a couple of years ago, but since then the pink pool has grown so much that we thought we'd plunge back in.

More Australian winemakers than ever are jumping on the pale, dry rosé bandwagon, taking all kinds of red grapes - from pinot to shiraz to nebbiolo - and turning them into gentle-hued, perfumed and wonderfully savoury wines.

Related: Australia's top 20 rieslings

More imported rosés than ever are jostling for attention. Shipments to Australia of Provence rosé alone rose by 127 per cent last year, and you can now find rosés from every corner of the globe here, including Portugal, Turkey, Germany and Argentina.

A growing number of local winemakers, meanwhile, are expanding the whole concept of rosé, blurring the boundaries between dark-pink and light-red wines. Some do this by blending white grapes and red grapes, taking bizarre bedfellows such as cabernet and riesling, and fermenting them together with unexpectedly terrific results. Others are exploring the pink potential of pinot meunier and pinot gris. Both are dark-skinned grapes but you think of them as white-wine grapes because traditionally only their clear-coloured juice is fermented. If, however, the winemaker ferments them skins and all - like a red wine - gris and meunier can produce lovely deep rosé styles.

It's a deep pool - pink wines now come in a deliciously diverse spectrum of colours and flavours, as you can see from the wines recommended here.


From left: Airlie Bank Gris Fermented on Skins, Moorooduc Estate Pinot Gris on Skins

2017 Airlie Bank Gris Fermented on Skins, Yarra Valley, $22

A blend of whole-bunch and skins-fermented pinot gris, this wine has a pale copper colour, an enticing floral perfume and a snappy, crunchy quality. Like taking a firm, juicy grape and squeezing it between your tongue and the roof of your mouth until it pops. puntroadwines.com.au

2016 Moorooduc Estate Pinot Gris on Skins, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, $38

Fully ripe pinot gris grapes spent a week macerating and a week fermenting on skins before being pressed into barrel, resulting in a glowing crimson-coloured wine with heaps of pinot-noir-like berry flavour. Again, drink cool, not cold. moorooducestate.com.au

2017 Hoddles Creek Whole Bunch Fermented Pinot Gris, Yarra Valley, $22

Unlike the other bottles here, all of which are drinking really well right now, this very pale, blushcoloured wine is youthful and reserved. It could benefit from a year or two in the cellar to fully reveal all its complex aromatics and textures. hoddlescreekestate.com.au



2017 Indomitus Rosa, Canberra District, $40

This is a wild-fermented blend of cabernet sauvignon and riesling, which sounds weird, but tastes wonderful. The cabernet brings gorgeous berry and herbal aromatics and the riesling brings grape-pulpy fruitiness and a lovely line of lively thirst-quenching citrus. gundogestate.com.au

2017 Logan Clementine Blushing Minnie Pinots, Orange, $25

Three pinots - noir, gris and meunier - blended to produce one of the most charming and seductive wines in the line-up. Such a pretty colour, such juicy cherry fruit flavours, so crunchy, smashable and delicious. Drink cool, but not cold. loganwines.com.au

2017 Brave New Wine Noon Shine, Great Southern, $32

One for lovers of the funk, this co-fermented blend of grenache and riesling is bursting with boisterous, youthful flavours of wild blackberry and exotic spice right now. But it's also a little prickly, with a hint of barnyard, and may get even funkier as it ages in the bottle. bravenewwine.com.au

2017 Ochota Barrels Texture Like Sun Red, Adelaide Hills, $35

Who'd have thought a multi-variety blend that includes pinot noir, gamay, gewürztraminer and shiraz (among other grapes) would taste so balanced, so harmonious and so damned good? Super-fresh, fine and silky, it's just gorgeous. ochotabarrels.com



From left: Chalmers Rosato, Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé, Dodgy Brothers Juxtaposed "Mr Furley" Pinot Meunier Rosé.

2017 Chalmers Rosato, Heathcote, $27

Despite being a blend of aglianico, sagrantino and nero d'Avola - all grapes originally from Italy's south and commonly used to make full-bodied, tannic red wines - this juicy, pale rosé is supple and savoury with a satisfying, creamy, gentle texture. chalmers.com.au

2016 Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rosé, Pfalz, $21

There's some dissolved carbon dioxide in this wine, which gives it a little spritz - a slight prickle on the tongue that adds to the freshness and enjoyment. You probably didn't know they grew pinot noir in Germany, nor that they made pink wine from it. Now you do. Imported by cellarhand.com.au

2017 Dodgy Brothers Juxtaposed "Mr Furley" Pinot Meunier Rosé, Piccadilly Valley, Adelaide Hills, $25

This very pale, dry rosé is made from pinot meunier, a grape more commonly used to make sparkling wines. It's unfiltered and ever-so-slightly cloudy, but it's super-fresh and clean in the mouth, with sappy, nicely tart flavours of rosehip and dried herbs. dodgybrotherswines.com

2017 TarraWarra Pinot Noir Rosé, Yarra Valley, $25

Quintessential pale, dry rosé, displaying the barest hint of pink as it sits in the glass. Has delicate fresh floral scents that drift up into your nostrils and a gentle, subtle flavour of wild strawberry balanced by some crisp Fuji apple tang on the tongue. tarrawarra.com.au



From left: Château de Pibarnon, Nocturne Nebbiolo Rosé, L'Apostrophe.

2015 Le Rosé du Château de Pibarnon, Bandol, $71

Outstanding example of why Bandol in Provence is such a highly regarded rosé region. Complex, seductive scents of heady blossoms and stone fruit, gorgeous richness and presence. Crying out for bouillabaisse. The 2016 is due to land as we go to press. Imported by bibendum.com.au

2017 Nocturne Nebbiolo Rosé, Margaret River, $34

Don't be fooled by the pale colour. Once you take a sip and let the wine sit on your tongue, the grippy tannin and fresh acidity so typical of nebbiolo make their presence felt and make you hunger for fatty prosciutto and crusty bread. It also comes in a magnum. Distributed by cellarhand.com.au

2016 Coteaux Varois en Provence L'Apostrophe, $41

Most Provence rosés out there in bottle-shop land are light and frivolous, but this one, a blend of grenache, cinsault and carignan, has a bit more weight and is all the better for it, with gutsy, bold fruit flavours of wild hedgerow berries sprinkled with spice. Imported by wineandfoodsolutions.com

2017 Tommy Ruff Poolside Syrah, Barossa Valley, $32

With just 11 per cent alcohol and hardly any hue, this probably isn't what you expect when you think Barossa shiraz. Don't worry - it may be light on its feet, but it's got heaps of fleshy flavour. Good with those German-style snags. It's time to bring out your best wurst.

The Gourmet Traveller podcast

Each fortnight we round up the most interesting characters from the food world for your listening pleasure. We chat to chefs, cooks, authors, bar tenders and baristas - anyone who has something new and interesting to say about the way we like to eat and drink.

Recipe collections

Looking for fresh dinner ideas? Not sure how to make the most out of seasonal produce? Or do you need to plan the perfect party menu? Our recipe collections have you covered.

See more

You might also like...

Jennifer Hawkins Sesion tequila

Tequila is the new black. At least it is for Jennifer Hawkin...

Top drops: March 2017

From a floral bottle of English bubble to a tangy gin perfec...

Signature drink: Hains & Co's Crimson Mainsail

Don’t be fooled – this cocktail looks pretty but packs a pun...

Australian sour beers

Craft brewing in Australia is hitting a sour note, and that’...

Original Sin's Grande Bellezza

A fresh, bright Italian-accented sundowner.

Short restaurant wine lists

Small is the order of the day in restaurants, with tight win...

Mitch Monaghan, Nespresso

We caught up with Nespresso Australia and New Zealand coffee...

Signature Drink: The Baxter Inn’s Charlestown

Grab the mink and the fedora – this Baxter cocktail means bu...

Seedlip, a non-alcoholic distilled spirit, arrives in Australia

The question of what to drink when you’re not having a drink...

Game up your G&Ts with a Distiller’s Strength Gin

Is this the year of gin going where no botanicals have gone ...

Trash Tiki comes to Australia

Wishful drinking meets mindful upcycling as Trash Tiki bring...

Signature drinks

Thirty of our favourite drinks from Australia's best bars an...

Hot 100 2015 - Drinks

The world is getting hotter and we’re not talking about glob...

Mover, shaker

The best thing you can take to a party, according to cocktai...

Best Australian red wines for drinking now

Australians are getting a taste for thirst-quenching reds ma...