CORINNA HARDGRAVE

THE WINE BUFF

Irish Independent - Weekend Magazine - - Drink -

If you’re a fan of rosé, you’re not alone. The celebrity love for this del­i­cately hued tip­ple knows no bounds. Brad Pitt and An­gelina Jolie were among the first to give it the celeb treat­ment when they launched their Château Mi­raval in 2011. Jon Bon Jovi has had huge suc­cess with his Hamp­ton Wa­ter, which he makes in col­lab­o­ra­tion with renowned Langue­doc wine­maker Gérard Ber­trand; Sting and Trudie Styler pro­duce a rosé at their Tenuta Il Pala­gio win­ery in Tus­cany; and Gra­ham Nor­ton, who’s had quite the suc­cess with his gin and wines, also has a rosé in his port­fo­lio. More re­cently, rap­per and Grammy award win­ner Post Malone re­port­edly crashed the Vivino app when he launched his own French rosé, Mai­son No. 9, named af­ter his favourite tarot card, the nine of swords.

But now it seems that rosé is the new per­fume. Don­nafu­gata is flash­ing a Dolce & Gab­bana-de­signed la­bel on its new Si­cil­ian rosé, and there’s been the pit­ter-pat­ter of Mano­los as Sarah Jes­sica Parker and Kylie Minogue have re­vealed that they too have a real pas­sion for rosé wine­mak­ing. I haven’t tried the SJP, but I have tried Kylie’s blend of Carig­nan and Caber­net Sauvi­gnon, which has her sig­na­ture on the em­bossed white la­bel. It is a nicely made drop, with plenty of sum­mer straw­ber­ries and ripe blood orange. You’ll find it on­line at wine­soft­he­world.ie and in Carry Out of­fli­cences for €12.99.

Of course, the Provençal rosé that gets hearts rac­ing is Whis­per­ing An­gel, which I re­viewed a few weeks ago, and it’s in greater sup­ply than it has been in years past. At €25 a bot­tle, it basks in the re­flected glory of Gar­rus, a su­per-pre­mium rosé which costs around €80 and was the most ex­pen­sive rosé avail­able when it was launched in 2007. The win­ery also pro­duces Rock An­gel and Château d’Es­clans, which are €40 and €44, re­spec­tively. Al­though we’re look­ing at huge dif­fer­en­tials in price, there is a house style that ties these wines to­gether. The grapes, which are pre­dom­i­nantly Grenache and Rolle (Ver­mentino) are picked much riper than is typ­i­cal for rosé, about 10 to 12 days later, adding a broad­ness and flo­ral qual­ity to the wine while not adding sweet­ness.

You could ask, is it all mar­ket­ing? Are these wines re­ally worth it? El­iz­a­beth Gabay, a Master of Wine who is con­sid­ered to be the world’s lead­ing au­thor­ity on rosé, sug­gests seek­ing out lesser-known rosés, like Ne­groa­maro from Puglia, and rosés from Aus­tria, the Douro and Rib­era del Duero. And I would add to that: to look out for rosés from small fam­ily pro­duc­ers, made in a low-in­ter­ven­tion style.

As this is my last wine col­umn for Week­end, I just want to say thank you to all my read­ers. I’ve loved writ­ing this col­umn so much; I hope you’ve learned a bit more about wine and found some wines that you love too. And don’t for­get to stay cu­ri­ous. Shop in your local in­de­pen­dent, ask for ad­vice, and dis­cover a new wine each time.

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