5 Shades of Rosé

Grape Days

With a record number of New Zealand Rosé wines now on offer including a wide variety of colours, varietals and styles, finding a Rosé that’s right for you can involve a lot of trial and error.

When choosing a Rosé, the colour can be very deceptive and it’s easy to assume that a deeper shade Rosé means that the wine will be sweet while it may be dry and full of complex berry flavours. Bone-dry and super-sweet Rosé wines come in any colour of pink including delicate hues of blush, pale pink, peach through to candy pink and dark berry shades.

But in saying that, a Rosé’s colour can give you an idea on how it was made and how it will taste. Most likely lighter Rosé wines are fresh and crisp, darker Rosés usually have more fruit and body.

Also, there are a myriad of varieties used for Rosé. Not tied down to one variety you can find Pinot Noir, Merlot, Tempranillo and even Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris – almost every wine grape is now being used to make the favourite pink drink. The winemaker sets the tone with style and production methods and ultimately the taste and colour.

So, let’s have a look at how the 5 most popular Rosé colours are created here in New Zealand to make sure you’re sipping the right Rosé all summer long.

Pretty in Pink – Popular Pinot Noir Rosé

Mount Michael Rosé

By far the most numerous Rosé wines in New Zealand are made from Pinot Noir. This grape variety flourishes in many of our different growing regions and is perfect for Rosé. It has seen impressive growth in the last five years, so it’s no surprise that Pinot Noir Rosé is on the rise with the majority coming from Marlborough, Martinborough, Central Otago and the Wairarapa.

Pinot Noir Rosé offers many different shades of pink, from blush to salmon to dark pink. It’s known for its red fruit flavours including strawberries, raspberries and cherries, while maintaining elegance and bright acidity.

Sip: Mount Michael The Mountaineer Pinot Noir Rosé 2019

Berry Red – Hearty Syrah Rosé

With 70% of Syrah grown in Hawke’s Bay it’s no surprise that most Syrah Rosé comes from New Zealand’s oldest winegrowing region as well.

It’s probably one of the easiest to pick due to its berry red colour which indicates a hearty and bold Rosé.

In addition to strength, Syrah Rosé is full of lip-smacking purple fruit including plums, cherries, blueberries with hints of spice.

Sip: Elephant Hill Syrah Rosé 2018

Pale Sunset Pink – Spicy Tempranillo Rosé

While there are only a handful of Tempranillo producers dotted around New Zealand, this is a Rosé you have to try. Found especially in warmer areas such as the Hawke’s Bay, Gisborne and Waiheke Island, there is only a mere 20ha being planted with this Spanish red variety.

Tempranillo Rosé comes in a pale pink and sometimes even salmon coloured shade but it’s the spice that makes this Rosé stand out from the crowd with its hallmark herbaceous notes of green peppercorn paired juicy red fruit flavours.

Sip: Spade Oak Voysey Tempranillo Rosé 2019

Beautiful Blush – Luscious Pinot Gris Rosé

While Pinot Gris is the third most popular variety in New Zealand there are surprisingly very few Pinot Gris Rosé wines made here.

The pale purple Pinot Gris skins create a pale dusky pink Rosé which has Instagram written all over it.

It’s luscious strawberry and cream flavours are often complemented by perfumed dried rose petals and plum nuances.

Sip: Aurum Pinot Gris Rosé 2019

Pink Rainbow – Rosé Blends

Untitled Wines | Lee Winston
Untitled Wines Pink Blend | Lee Winston

The beauty of Rosé is that it has so many different personalities. Winemakers have full reign to create a pink masterpiece and it allows them to mix and match varieties to create complex flavour profiles and a colour to suit their customers.

The main varieties used in Rosé blends in New Zealand are Merlot, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and can also be blended in combination with white varieties like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris.

Sweetness can vary as well, from sweet deliciousness to lean dry rose petals. We encourage you to try many of them out to see what your taste buds prefer.

Sip: Untitled Pink Blend

So these pinks are your oyster, take your pick this summer!