Fruity, salty rose refreshing

As rose becomes more about its own identity and style, we are seeing less mention of the grape variety/ies that produce it.

Two of today’s featured wines have chosen interesting grape combos, with the Brennan example utilising tempranillo and zinfandel (they are the only winery in Central Otago growing this latter grape), while the Helio is a tempranillo, montepulciano and cabernet franc blend.

What might otherwise be a mouthful becomes simply rose, and is all the better for it.





2019 Brennan Gibbston rose

Price: $35
Rating: Very good

Subtle but attractive nose,
flecks of strawberry and
peach, a savoury nuance
with stony salinity. A rush of
sweet and sour on the
palate, an almost tingly
quality offers bracing
refreshment, which
softens over time. Dry, a
savoury touch, running
to a salt-inflected close.
Salinity more marked
with time; would neatly
cut through the fattiness
of sausages off the

2020 Rabbit Ranch Central Otago rose

Price: $23

Rating: Very good to excellent

Musk, gum fruit jubes a
grassy note. Fatter in the
mouth, an attractive
creaminess building,
making this round and
supple. Hints of spice with
a ripe cranberry/fruit
pastille element carrying
on to the long finish.
Develops a grainy edge
to the texture with time,
adding palate interest.
A lot of appeal here.

2020 Helio Hawke’s Bay rose

Price: $25 (500ml)
Rating: Excellent

An intriguing scent of mixed
white flowers and dried
strawberry, time sees this
open up adding savoury
nuances and a brown bread-
like note. Tangy palate, a
savoury quality, quite dry,
whipped into line by the
zesty acidity. There’s a
bittersweet edge to the
finish which really gets the
gastric juices going. More
of a food style than a fruit

2020 Mahi Marlborough rose

Price: $24.90
Rating: Very good to excellent

Brightly scented and boldly
aromatic with lashings of
strawberries and cream.
Creamy entry, tangy, hitting
the refreshment button.
Bright acidity and a saline/
sea-shell character. Fruit
jube and mixed berries
appear on the close. Really
gets the salivary glands
going. Warm day aperitif,
and good with food too.

2020 Taylors Adelaide Hills pinot noir rose

Price: $19.99
Rating: Excellent

Subtle nose of musk,
strawberry and citrus zest,
growing over time. There’s a
suppleness to this, textural
richness building as
boysenberry, summer
berries and orange citrus
grow yet with a lovely
tanginess on the close.
Initially feels just off-dry,
but feels drier as the
acidity becomes more
racy and a chalky
phenolic note adds extra
grip. Lots of appeal here.

2020 Jules Taylor OTQ Single Vineyard Marlborough pinot noir rose

Price: $34.99
Rating: Excellent

Boldly scented nose, musk,
gum, dried strawberry,
savoury elements, clotted
cream with time. A rush of
strawberry and berryfruit
with stony/minerally
nuances. With aeration
there’s a little sea-salt
entwined with a
‘sucking on hard candy’
thing going on. A cool
touch to this. Good
depth, nicely balanced
and eminently drinkable.

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