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Rose – not just a lightweight in the wine market

california france rose wine

Rose wine has made a massive surge into the market place in the last couple of years and no longer can it be considered as a lightweight alternative. Rose sales globally account for over 20% of the market, a far cry from when we laughed at the odd shaped Mateus bottle back in the 1970’s.

The reasons for the resurgence of Rose are twofold. First of all the wine making techniques in warm countries have improved dramatically, with temperature controlled vats for the must, keeping must temperatures down and therefore retaining the lovely aromas of fruit which disappear if the must becomes hot or boiled.

The second reason is that Rose wines are now being made in a more serious way, using grape varieties such as Mourvedre, Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and Merlot. These varieties have more weight and structure when made into traditional rose. The skins are left in contact with the juice to absorb colour and tannin, so the wine has the structure of a red wine, rather than of a lighter white style. Previously rose’s were often made with white juice blended with red wine, but the pressed method gives a much more stable structure and the opportunity for the wine to develop over a couple of years.

Best examples in the market presently are Chateau Leoube, Cotes du Provence Rose. Fresh and zingy with good tannins and long finish, excellent with Seafood as well as on its own. Made from Mourvedre and Carignan grapes

For something a little fruitier Round Hill White Zinfandel from Napa Valley, California. Big and bold with bags of fruit and delicious aftertaste.

An article by Andrew Coghlan for City Business Magazine June/July 2008

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