By Fergal Gleeson
“Rosé has become such a popular summer drink because there is just some occasions where a red or white does not suffice!” says Steve James, Manager of Winemaking and Viticulture at Voyager Estate.
“Shared charcuterie plates and spicy seafood are perfect summer dishes” he believes “and lightly chilled Rosé is the best wine to enjoy with a fresh fruit salad.”
Voyager’s 2019 Rosé was produced primarily from a selection of designated Shiraz and Merlot vineyards. The fruit was gently pressed to extract a free run component with minimal colour.
Some Viognier was co-fermented to add textural complexity and lifted aromatics. The wine was left on lees for two months prior to filtration and bottling in August 2019.
Steve tells me that the Shiraz blocks which are planted to different clones, were chosen for the diversity of fruit flavours that they offer. Weightmans 3 offers fresh bright lifted fruit characters whilst Ullingers Block 8 and 11 offer a more savoury and earthy fruit spectrum.
“The Viognier adds a delightful aromatic lift, he says “and also contributes a lovely smooth texture through the palate of the wine.”
Ryan Aggiss, Winemaker at Aravina Estate, a leading winery, restaurant and home to the WA Surf Gallery, is very enthusiastic about the Rosé wine style.
“It’s just such a great match for the Australian climate, our varied cultures and our food habits,” Ryan says. “Recent culinary influences of the middle east and Asia, along with the traditional European influence of cuisine, have paved the way for a better understanding of food and wine pairing.”
Ryan varies how he makes Aravina Rosé from year to year, but for 2019 it’s a blend of Tempranillo, Shiraz and Semillon. “The Tempranillo component spends around 16 hours on skins in the press, is de-juiced then fermented nice and cool in stainless steel tanks” he says.
“The Shiraz spends about 6 hours on skins then is fermented in older French oak and matured on lees for 12 weeks. The small Semillon component it put to barrel as a whole juice, wild fermented and left to sit on lees for 6 weeks before being blended into the base wine.”
Do certain red varietals make better Rosé than others?
“Yep, I think it depends largely on the sugar/acid/flavour balance of the varietal in a particular region as to how suited to Rosé’ it is,” Ryan says.
What’s the relationship between colour and sweetness?
“Zero! A common misconception is that a pinker Rosé’ is sweeter and a pale Rosé is dry. Sugar is a conscious decision of the wine style and is manipulated by the maker for the particular target market” Ryan tells me.
From Your Margaret River Region Magazine