Wine Review: New season rosés

By Susy Atkins 23 Mar 2014

With so many rosés out there, how to decide which one is for you?

Each to their own when it comes to rosé. If you like yours brightly coloured, juicy and on the sweet (by which I mean “confected”) side, then fine, though I won’t trouble you for a glass. Others prefer a bone-dry, lip-smacking, pale style. My favourites lie in-between – the nearly dry and fruity sort, scented, with tangy red cherry and cranberry. As thoughts turn to spring drinking there are plenty of pinks for us to pick from, but a problem lies in identifying exactly which are which. It’s hard to tell from labels alone those that are dry and lean, and those with a sweetness that qualifies them to partner pudding.

The best clue (admittedly this is a bit of a generalisation) is the region or country of origin. New World rosés tend towards the ripe and sweetish, especially those from California. Chile’s and New Zealand’s are charged with vivacious, juicy fruit but tend to be a shade drier. Bordeaux rosé and rosados from Navarra and Rioja in Spain usually come in the “just-dry and fruity” versions I adore, while Provence gives us the very driest, palest and, some would say, most subtle rosés.

I’ve tasted almost 30 rosés as we whoosh into the new season, and these are my three best buys:

Tagus Creek 2012 Tejo, Portugal
Portuguese rosés vary in quality and style, but this is a true bargain: ripe, deep cerise and plummy, but with a pretty dry finish. Can take on spicy seafood. 13 per cent

Morrisons Navarra Garnacha Rosé 2012 Spain
A red-cherry- and mulberry-flavoured pink with a fresh, slightly salty edge. Off-dry and great with jamón or croquetas. 13 per cent

Mirabeau Rosé 2012 Côtes de Provence, France (Waitrose, £8.99)
With its raspberry and redcurrant scent and a twist of white pepper, this is dry and refreshing, even a little tart. An aperitif, then, to drink with salty snacks. 12.5 per cent