TOP WINE OF THE TASTING
1. ISABEL ESTATE Marlborough Rosé 2017 ($ 24.99) Gold Medal
One hundred per cent Marlborough pinot noir was all that was needed to create the stand-out wine of our tasting. “Gorgeous to look at and scented with delicate maraschino cherry,” commented Jane. “It has excellent acidity and dryness – the perfect summer wine.” Cameron agreed, seeing red cherry and plum concentration, a delicately structured, beautifully balanced palate and excellent length. Yvonne thought it was possibly the best rosé she’d ever experienced, “Ultra-tangy, incredibly pretty, generous in every respect, it’s absolutely stunning.” Isabel are on a roll.
2. WAIRAU RIVER Marlborough Rosé 2017 ($ 20) Gold Medal
One word that kept coming up in the judging team’s notes with this was “complex”. One sip and you’ll see why it was a wine they kept going back to over and over. The fact it’s a blend of pinot noir, merlot, syrah and pinot gris most definitely added richness and intensity and wowfactor for sure. The Rose family own Wairau River and it’s lovely they’ve scored gold for their namesake wine. Super pale, with pretty pink diamond colouring, it’s fruit saturated and incredibly juicy. “Fleshy, plump and a fabulous example,” exclaimed Cameron, while Jane loved its vibrancy and drinkability.
3. VILLA MARIA Cellar Selection Pinot Noir Rosé ($ 17.99) Gold Medal
With its darker salmon pink colour, this looks super sexy from the get-go. “It’s a very full, rich style, with hints of pepper and spice,” noted Yvonne. “The mouthfeel has delicious texture and generosity and it boasts a mouthwatering finish.” Cameron agreed, marvelling at the crunchy-fresh acidity and mix of peach, red apple and cranberry on the palate. A stunner that’ll carry you right through the season.
4. OPAWA Marlborough Rosé 2017 ($ 19.95) Gold Medal
Brett Birmingham is the man charged with creating the Opawa range of wines for Nautilus Estate, and we’ll be backing him for a payrise after this most excellent effort. “Beautifully juicy and packed with strawberry and floral aromatics,” noted Jane, while Yvonne raved about its personality and feistiness. Solid mid-palate fruit concentration, fleshiness and a great acid line makes this an impressive, crowdpleaser of a rosé for any occasion.
5. WAIPARA HILLS Waipara Rosé 2017 ($ 21.90) Gold Medal
“Apples, raspberries and a touch of quartzy minerality gives this a lovely bouquet and palate,” commented Cameron. Yvonne agreed, adding it was bursting with cherry and berry, while Jane found masses of strawberries and cream, adding, “Crisp, refreshing, with excellent concentration, it’s fuller flavoured and lifted”.
6. AKARUA RUA Central Otago Rosé 2017 ($ 24) Gold Medal
“Beautifully crimson-pink in the glass and boasting a splash of savoury, almost meaty, notes cloaking the fresh berries,” offered Yvonne. “Robust, fruity and spicy-clean.” Cameron announced it was lively, engaging, concentrated and packed with raspberries, and plums. Jane loved the watermelon and fuchsia colour and the candy floss and berry elements. It’s big, bold and bursting with personality.
7. O:TU Hawke’s Bay Merlot Rosé 2017 ($ 22.99) Gold Medal
It’s as if you’ve taken a bite of red apple dusted with crushed candy and soaked in cranberry and strawberry each time you sip this wine. “Very drinkable,” announced Jane, adding how full and concentrated it was. “It’s a very serious style,” she said. Yvonne was seduced by the rich colour, pink peppercorn nuances and its juicy mouthfeel.
8. MISSION ESTATE Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2017 $ 16 Gold Medal
This is a superbly constructed blend of merlot, malbec, syrah and cabernet franc that is exceptional value for money. Superpretty in the glass and bursting with cherry blossom aromatics, fresh spices, raspberry and all manner of red fruits, it’s a definite crowd-pleaser according to Yvonne. “Plush, fruity and engaging,” added Cameron.
9. TE KANO ESTATE Central Otago Rosé 2017 ($ 27) ½ Silver Medal
Te Kano (Māori for seed) celebrates the lone surviving kowhai tree known as “Old Man Kowhai’ on the Northburn slopes above Lake Dunstan. Hundred per cent pinot noir has provided soft watermelon, raspberry and creaming soda characters. It’s rich and delicious, sultry and satisfying. A fruity newcomer with serious finesse.
10. TI POINT ‘ RUBY’ Hawke’s Bay Merlot Rosé 2017 ($ 18.99) ½ Silver Medal
This wine, named after the eldest daughter of Ti Point's founder Tracy Mason, straight away had colour impact in the glass. “Zippy acidity, pure and refreshing, fruity and engaging,” commented Cameron, while Yvonne declared her love immediately. “Elegantly crafted, fresh berry and cherry flavours, satisfying, succulent and beautifully balanced – more please!”
11. WOOING TREE Central Otago Rosé 2017 ($ 27) ½ Silver Medal
Lovely fresh aromas of berries and cherries and punchy acidity accentuate the red-fruited core of this wine, making it an impressive sip indeed. “Beautifully balanced and long on flavour,” noted Yvonne. “Wimbledon anyone?” announced Jane with her description of strawberries and cream. “It’s vibrant, clean, crisp and sweetly fruited.”
12. THREE MINERS VINEYARD Central Otago Rosé 2017 ($ 26) Silver Medal
Perfectly pale, like the skin on a kewpie doll, this rosé absolutely rocks the red fruits alongside masses of melon and nectarine – even a twang of delicate creaming soda and spice make themselves known too. Crisp, crunchy and long, long, long, Jane also announced it was a gorgeous explosion of fragrant fruit – crisp, refreshing and perfect for summer sipping. Full, rich and fabulous.