A rose by any other name

Mark Henderson
Mark Henderson

Mark Henderson samples some rose.

It would be fair to say that spring has had a few false starts this year, so the sight of a line-up of 2017 rose wines made vinous allusions to the summer ahead for my tasting colleagues Mr Collins, Mr McLaren and I.

Sadly, the false starts of spring seemed to befall some of the wines too, so I have pared back the group to the six below that showed well.

Hard to give definitive reasons for the wines that showed poorly - perhaps the 2017 vintage in some parts was hard-hit by the weather?



2017 Jacobs Creek Le Petit Rose
Rating: Good to very good

Pale salmon colour. Notes of bubble gum, apple skin and ripe berries dusted with icing sugar becoming vinous with time. Creamy entry, dryish palate with rose petal, apple and berries; the flavours tapering on the close before returning with a sweet-fruited top note.

Refreshingly sweet and sour, but does become noticeably tangy with time.




2017 Misha’s Vineyard The Soloist Pinot Rose
Price: $27
Rating: Very good to excellent

Pale rose colour. Interestingly different nose that combines the more typical strawberries and cream with a savvy-like sweat and grassiness. Gum, sweet strawberry and confectionery flood the palate, a hint of banana skin, too, with a tart rhubarb element giving lift and crispness.

Zesty, fresh and with good carry of flavours and intensity.




2017 Montana Winemaker’s Reserve Hawke’s Bay Rose
Price: $17
Rating: Good to very good

Salmon colour. Perfumed nose of rose petal and subtle sweet fruits. Engagingly different palate with toffee apple, mixed berries, straw and musk/Turkish Delight adding notes of confection and boiled sweets on the close with some appealing chewiness.

Flavour intensity though the sweetness seems just a little out of place.




2017 Te Kano Central Otago Rose
Price: $27
Rating: Excellent

Palest pink colour. Appealing perfumed nose with bubble gum, strawberries and cream. Texturally good with a sweet-fruited core through the wine adding a musky counterpoint on the close, yet finishing drier than the nose would suggest. A good lick of acidity adds freshness.

Good intensity here and neatly balanced.




2017 River-T Waitaki Valley Pinot Rose
$25 (cellar door)
Rating: Very good

Pale salmon colour. Perfume, spices and subtle strawberry notes on the nose, building and growing with aeration. The palate leads with Wine Gums, a core of ripe fruit before a curiously appealing salty/saline note brings a tangy sweet and sour note, adding a bittersweet fruit pith element, too.

The growing fruit intensity and sweetness finds surprising balance here.




2017 Soho Westwood Waiheke Island Rose
Price: $25
Rating: Very good to excellent

Pale salmon colour. Perfumed nose highlighting strawberry, apple and spices with a faint background hint of licorice. Sweet fruit on the front palate with musky, smoker’s lollies yet finishing dry.

A winning combination of a creamy palate, good balance and nice intensity, adding crisp freshness on the close.
















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