Rosé With A Difference


Don’t know about you, but I’m a bit ‘over’ the shrill, purple, high-acid, high-sugar rosé styles which have long been popular in this country.

These often seem to have been made by people who don’t drink rosé, encouraged by medals and trophies handed out at competitions judged by judges who never drink the wines they’re awarding gongs to.

The antidote to this phenomenon is Sue Bell’s Bellwether (tastings) Nero d’Avola Rosé 2013 ($25; 12.3% alcohol). It’s a pale-coloured, light-bodied, silky-soft wine which has a beautiful texture and very more-ish balance. It’s dry and delicate, food-friendly and appetizing, but the pale colour alone would probably disqualify it from winning a gold medal because it’s neither dark nor purple enough. And the bouquet: what’s this? A distinct sulfide overtone, tied in with the barrel-ferment characters? Can’t have that, even though it is tremendously complex and inviting to sniff.

This is a lovely wine and a great drink – that rare thing, an Aussie rosé of which I could drink quite a few glasses. The grapes were grown by Riverland grapegrower and spokesman Ashley Ratcliff, whose day job is looking after Yalumba’s (tastings) exemplary Oxford Landing vineyard. You’ll have to search for this wine, though. Like all good things, it’s limited-production and scarce. Try

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