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Ten of the world’s best rosés

Following a comprehensive tasting of pink wines from around the world we pick out ten of the best rosés money can buy.

Rose GenericRosé is a becoming an increasingly fashionable drink, particularly when it’s pale and dry – and the weather’s hot – but some pink wines are much better than others.

To separate the good from the ordinary, and the outstanding from the great, we held a tasting of more than 160 rosés in London on 14 June.

All the wines were served “blind” to a selection of experienced judges (listed below), who assessed the rosés without prejudice to source country, although they were aware of the approximate price of each sample.

The entries were scored out of 100, discussed, and then awarded medals from Bronze to Gold, or, indeed, the ultimate accolade of Master, which is given only to those wines deemed exceptional by the judges.

Over the following pages we have listed the top 10 best performing rosés in the tasting – those wines that gained a Gold medal or above.

All of them are still and dry, and hail from a range of countries, from Italy to Spain, although the majority are from France, and mainly from the excellent 2015 vintage.

The Global Rosé Masters is a competition for pink wines from around the world held by the drinks business. The wines for this year’s competition were tasted over the course of one day at Les 110 de Taillevent in London on 14 June. Click here to see the results from last year’s competition and click here to see the 10 best wines from 2016’s Global Rosé Masters.

The judges:

• Hugo Rose MW, director, fine wine asset management company Vinsignia
• Patrick Schmitt MW, editor-in-chief, the drinks business
• Roberto Della Pietra, sommelier and brand ambassador, French Bubbles
• Elizabeth Gabay MW, wine writer and Provençal rosé specialist
• Sebastian Payne MW, wine buyer, The Wine Society
• Patricia Stefanowicz MW, wine consultant
• Beverly Tabbron MW, head of training and education, Hallgarten Druitt
• Adrian Garforth MW, wine consultant
• Jonathan Pedley MW, wine lecturer and consultant
• Clément Robert MS, group head sommelier and wine buyer, 28º-50º

Global Rose Masters 2016 judges
Judges (left to right): Hugo Rose MW; Patrick Schmitt MW; Roberto Della Pietra; Elizabeth Gabay MW; Sebastian Payne MW; Patricia Stefanowicz MW; Beverly Tabbron MW; Adrian Garforth MW; Jonathan Pedley MW; Clément Robert MS

10. Pure Mirabeau

mirabeau-pure-provence-roseProducer: Mirabeau en Provence
Region: Provence
Country: France
Vintage: 2015
Sugar content: bone dry (0.29 g/l)
Abv: 13%
Grape varieties: 60% Grenache / 40% Syrah
Closure: cork
Price: £13
Rosé Masters medal: Gold

A pretty wine to match the pretty packaging, with alluring red berry flavours along with a touch of ripe peach to fill out the palate of this bone dry rosé. Finishing with an appealing cranberry freshness, you’ll be shortly reaching for a second sip, and then a third…

9. Château Brown Rosé

BR-RO14-coffret-BD-2Producer: Château Brown
Region: Bordeaux
Country: France
Vintage: 2015
Sugar content: bone dry (1 g/l)
Abv: 13%
Grape varieties: 50% Cabernet Sauvignon / 50% Merlot
Closure: cork
Price: £30
Rosé Masters medal: Gold

With four-months spent in one-year-old French oak barriques, this pale peach-coloured rosé from Bordeaux may look delicate, but has toasted nutty characters more commonly associated with full-bodied barrel-aged white wines. This complements the ripe red berry fruit, adding a welcome layer of complexity, while enhancing this wine’s versatility – it would certainly pair well with white meats as well as pre-dinner snacks. Meanwhile, the Cabernet-Merlot base, coupled with Bordeaux’s maritime climate, ensures that this rosé has a bright refreshing finish, so it remains quaffable, which is so important for any pink drink. Indeed, among the small class of barrel-aged rosés, few are better balanced.

8. Pla dels Angels

Pla-dels-àngels-e1461147616457Producer: Scala Dei
Region: Priorat
Country: Spain
Vintage: 2015
Sugar content: bone dry (1.48 g/l)
Abv: 14.5%
Grape varieties: 100% Grenache
Closure: cork
Price: £16
Rosé Masters medal: Gold

It should perhaps come as no surprise that old vine Grenache from one of Spain’s top terroirs, Priorat, should produce such delicious red-berry scented rosé. However, this wine is an odditiy because the majority of Priorat’s grapes go into dense, age-worthy reds. Thankfully, the area’s oldest producer, Scala Dei, chose to reserve some of its prized fruit to make this rosado, which is like drinking strawberries wrapped in silk. But beware, it is quite alcoholic.

7. Alie

Alie roseProducer: Marchesi Frescobaldi
Region: Tuscany
Country: Italy
Vintage: 2015
Sugar content: dry
Abv: 12%
Grape varieties: 98% Syrah / 2% Vermentino
Closure: cork
Price: £15
Rosé Masters medal: Gold

Proving that Italy can produce rosé to rival Provence, this delicious Tuscan pink is overflowing with red berry fruit from a base of predominantly Syrah grapes. With a slightly oily texture, the wine sits briefly on the tongue, before sliding down the back of the throat with a mouthwatering sensation – which is exactly the combination you want in a rosé.

6 Minuit Rose – Vendanges Nocturnes

12715492_1119319628091591_9159143478565120250_nProducer: Château d’Escarelle
Region: Provence
Country: France
Vintage: 2015
Sugar content: bone dry (0.6 g/l)
Abv: 12.5%
Grape varieties: Grenache / Mouvedre / Cinsault
Closure: cork
Price: £13
Rosé Masters medal: Master

Taking its name from Château d’Escarelle’s decision to harvest during the night when air temperatures are lower, this is a lovely, delicate, and bright rosé. Brimming with red berry fruit, a touch of peach, it also benefits from a creamy texture, and a bone dry and fresh finish. It’s a textbook rosé at an accessible price, which is why it gained the ultimate accolade of Master in this year’s Global Rosé Masters.

5. By Ott

domaines-ott-byott-roseProducer: Domaines Ott
Region: Provence
Country: France
Vintage: 2015
Sugar content: dry (2 g/l)
Abv: 12.5%
Grape varieties: 70% Grenache / 20% Cinsault / 10% Syrah
Closure: cork
Price: £16
Rosé Masters medal: Gold

Those looking for the archetypal Provençal rosé need look no further than this delicate citrus and berry-scented example from Domaines Ott, which delivers a delicious whack of ripe fruit followed by a fresh, dry, slightly chalky sensation on the finish. A wonderfully balanced form of refreshment.

4. César à Sumeire Rosé

cesar-roseProducer: Château Coussin
Region: Provence
Country: France
Vintage: 2015
Sugar content: dry (2 g/l)
Abv: 12.5%
Grape varieties: 50% Grenache / 50% Syrah
Closure: cork
Price: £25
Rosé Masters medal: Gold

This rosé from Château Coussin belies its very pale appearance with masses of ripe red fruit on the palate, although it also delivers all the delicate refreshment of great Provençal rose, with a light body, floral aromas and a long mouth-watering finish. A delicious and balanced drink.

2. Font du Broc Rosé

Font du Broc RoseProducer: Château Font du Broc
Region: Provence
Country: France
Vintage: 2015
Sugar content: bone dry (0.4 g/l)
Abv: 12.5%
Grape varieties: 50% Syrah / 40% Grenche / 8% Mouvedre / 2% Cinsault
Closure: cork
Price: £15
Rosé Masters medal: Master

Once poured, this magnificent Provençal rosé is impossible to part with, combining a creamy texture, ripe, red cherry fruit, and a long, dry, crisp sensation as it slips down the throat. Only summer sun and shorts required.

2. Château La Sauvageonne La Villa rosé

LA-VILLA-75CL-300DPIProducer: Château La Sauvageonne (Gérard Bertrand)
Region: Languedoc
Country: France
Vintage: 2015
Sugar content: bone dry (0.2 g/l)
Abv: 13%
Grape varieties: Vermentino / Viognier / Mouvèdre / Grenache
Closure: cork
Price: £40
Rosé Masters medal: Gold

For those looking for a more structured, serious and versatile rosé then this is the ideal wine. With a proportion transferred to oak barriques for 6 months, this rosé has a complexing layer of nuttiness from the wood (and lees) contact, as well as a mouth-filling creamy texture, along with masses of ripe red berry fruit and a tangy citrus finish. Although it is quite a powerful wine, it delivers wonderful rosé refreshment, and proves that oak barrels can be successfully used in pink winemaking. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s also delicious.

1. Garrus

GarrusProducer: Château d’Esclans
Region: Provence
Country: France
Vintage: 2014
Sugar content: dry (2 g/l)
Abv: 14%
Grape varieties: Grenache / Vermentino
Closure: natural cork
Price: £70-80
Rosé Masters medal: Master

Like a great gymnast, this barely pink rosé has power and finesse. Using ripe, red fruit from 80-year-old vines, and barrel fermentation, the wine has plenty of berry flavour and a smoky, toasty creamy character too. But the use of free-run juice and temperature control ensures it also has a delicacy, with a light smooth mouthfeel and a long refreshing finish. This is an extraordinary wine that could be quaffed under the Provençal sun or sipped appreciatively with food. There is no more versatile rosé (nor more expensive…).

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