By Fergal Gleeson
“Rosé is an all occasion wine full of freshness, brightness, crispness, lightness yet with plenty of flavour,” says Janice McDonald, Howard Park’s highly awarded winemaker.
“Being made from red grapes does give the wine a depth, texture and a generally lower acidity than white wine. All in all, a natural, friendly balance that makes it easy to drink.”
How did Janice make the 2017 Howard Park Miamup Rosé?
“Our winemaking starts with the gentle extraction of free run juice from early harvest of separate parcels of Shiraz and Pinot Noir grapes. After the extraction, Rosé is made in the same way as white wine. The blend is what tastes best. This wine is 55 % Shiraz and 45% Pinot Noir.”
Do certain red varietals make better Rosé than others?
“I feel the red grapes with the least amount of tannin and lots of berry characters are best however I am sure opinions would differ as the style you wish to make,” she says. “I like Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Grenache and I like to blend varieties.”
“Our style is about being fresh, fruity, fleshy and with a dry mineral like finish. Not too much alcohol not too much phenolic content (that come from the skins of the grapes), so you can enjoy at any time of the day.”
Given that we were talking Rosé I asked Janice the colour question ….
“The implied relationship is deeper colour greater sweetness. However this is not so accurate these days as even deep coloured Rosé is much drier than in the past. Most Rosé in Australia is modelled on the very dry, very pale Provencal style. So make no assumptions.”
What’s a good food match with your Rosé?
“Given the light and delicate nature of Rosé, food of a similar weight is best,” Janice says. “My favourite is a salad of micro greens with Persian fetta and pistachios.”
Janice also had a fact for wine ‘know- it- all’s’! There is an “official” colour coding scheme for Rosé that refers to the flesh of: cantaloupe, peach, red currant, ruby grapefruit, mango and mandarin. Thankfully you don’t have to have memorised it to appreciate a good glass of Miamup Rosé!
From Your Margaret River Region Magazine