You heard it first from Sommelier India: rosé is making a comeback and will be the wine to be seen sipping next summer. At least we at the magazine can call it our mission to get you to drink more rosé. An Italian Rosé was the clear winner. Read on to find out who it was. Pictured are some of the tasting panelists.
The Tasting Panel, now nicely established with a healthy mix of sommeliers and wine professionals, decided to try out the handful of rosé’s available in India. On the whole, the wines appeared exactly as rosés should – unpretentious, delightfully fresh, and easy to drink.
When looking for good rosé, look for wines that are fruity but not too extracted and most importantly, in the opinion of the SI Panel, dry.
The most noticeable drawback with a few of the wines was perhaps indicative of the major problem for wine in India: poor storage. A seemingly young wine appeared tired, a tad over-developed and flat. It’s possible the importer had issues with the storage facility and is perhaps having difficulty selling this particular wine. The latter issue is somewhat understandable, but there is absolutely no excuse for poor storage. Wineries take note!
All the wines were tasted blind. As expected, the New World rosés were somewhat fruitier and more ‘up-front’ with their flavours. Those from Italy and France showed a little more complexity and restraint.
The ‘red herring’ of the night was Château de la Rivière 2007 from Bandol, a region famous for producing structured dry rosé. Admittedly, this wine threw many of the panel members, which, I hazard, was largely because it followed two fruity, soft New World wines. The Bandol was the complete opposite of the preceding two wines in that it was savoury, light and rather complex. Indeed, it was so different in its aroma profile that some of us thought it to be faulty! This taught us a valuable lesson regarding tastings: a wine’s position in a line-up can have a bearing on how it’s perceived.
What we did eventually conclude was that there is quite a range of rosé wines available in India, local and imported. So there really is no excuse not to drink more rosé. The Indian samples were reasonably priced and promising. Besides Sula, which we tasted blind, the other Indian rosés available for tasting by the Panel were Grover’s, Nine Hills and Zampa.
– Harshal Shah
Panel Favourite: 2007 Tenuta Guado al Tasso ‘Scalabrone’ Bolgheri Rosato DOC
Some petillance. Bright, pale crimson with a pale pink/crimson rim. A hint of minerals and red berries on the nose with some moderately intense floral aromas. Fresh on the palate with intense strawberries and some stone fruit (plums and nectarines). Light-bodied with moderate to low acidity with medium finish.
The Wines In The Order They Were Tasted
2007 E. Guigal Tavel
2005 Paul Jaboulet Aîné Tavel
2007 Tenuta Guado al Tasso ‘Scalabrone’ Bolgheri Rosato DOC (Winner)
2006 Jacob’s Creek Rosé Barossa Valley
2005 Mondavi ‘ Woodbridge’ Rosé, California
2008 Sula Vineyards Blush Zinfandel, Nasik Valley
2007 Château de la Rouvière Rosé, Bandol, Provence
2007 Alois Lageder Lagrein Rosé, Alto Adige
NV Charles Lafite by Listel, France
Read the latest issue of Sommelier India for tasting notes on each of the wines.