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Ten of the world’s best sparkling rosés

Following extensive blind tastings of sparkling rosés around the world, we bring you ten of the best examples from under £15 to over £200.

pink-sparklingSparkling pink wine may not have a hugely sophisticated image, but that doesn’t meet that fizzy rosés can’t be high-quality, complex and age-worthy drinks, and, over the following pages we have picked out some outstanding specimens from a range of origins and price points.

Covering wines from Italy, France, New Zealand and England, these fizzy pinks prove that it’s not just Champagne that makes first-rate sparkling rosé, although this famous French wine region still makes the ultimate example in this growing category – Champagne is the leader in terms of price and quality.

All the wines in the following list are Brut or drier in style, which means that they contain less than 12 grams per litre of sugar, and every one has been made by the traditional method, meaning that the second fermentation – which provides the wine with its fizz – is carried out in the bottle (as opposed to a tank, or injected).

The sparkling rosés featured below have all been selected “blind” by a selection of experienced judges in The Drinks Business Rosé, Sparkling and Champagne Masters, a set of competitions that see wines assessed by style, price and quality.

The samples 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 across these tastings – those wines that gained a Gold medal or above.

If you want to read more about the Masters wine competitions, click here.

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Ten of the world’s best rosés

10. Cavit Altemasi Trento DOC Rosé Brut

featured_altemasiPrice: £15-17
From: Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy
Lees-ageing time: 18-24 months
Medal: Gold (Sparkling Masters)

Using Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the hillsides of Trentino, this dry sparkling rosé has the pure red berry fruit and wonderful creamy texture of a pink fizz at double the price. An excellent value if slightly riper alternative to pink Champagne.

9. Berlucchi 61 Rosé Brut

berlucchi-cuvee-61-brut-rose-sparkling-wine-1Price: £25
From: Franciacorta DOCG, Lombardy, Italy
Lees-ageing time: 26 months
Medal: Gold (Rosé Masters, 2016)

The Berlucchi 61 Rosé Brut hails from Italy’s celebrated sparkling wine region called Franciacorta, where strict rules are imposed on producers to ensure high-quality fizz is produced right across the DOCG. With as much as 60% Pinot Noir in the blend, the Berlucchi Rosé has plenty of juicy red cherry fruit, but 40% Chardonnay adds a lemony edge, complemented by a gently toasted bready character from more than two years spent ageing in contact with the wine’s lees.

8. Laurent-Perrier Rosé

laurent_perrier_rose_champagne_gift_2Price: £45
From: Champagne, France
Lees-ageing time: 4 years
Medal: Gold (Rosé Masters, 2016)

The benchmark quality pink fizz, Laurent-Perrier Rosé both looks and tastes wonderful. Pale salmon pink due to brief skin contact with Pinot Noir grapes, this sparkling rosé is both delicate and richly flavoured. Drinkers can expect an initial rush of red fruit followed by a creamy sensation from the fine bubbles along with a taste of freshly-baked bread. The fizz then finishes with a refreshing redcurrant crunch, cleaning the palate, and ensuring you’ll go back for more.

7. Lanson Extra Age Rosé

lanson-extra-age-rosePrice: £65
From: Champagne, France
Lees-ageing time: 5 years +
Medal: Gold (Rosé Masters, 2016)

Few rosés are less frivolous than Lanson’s Extra Age. With a name chosen to signify an extended period spent ageing in Lanson’s cellars – five years minimum – this fizzy pink has a copper appearance and toasted nutty flavours from its lengthy maturation. It also has a hint of red berry fruit and a mouth-cleansing apple flavour from the producer’s decision to block the malo-lactic fermentation (which sees the conversion of sharp tasting malic acid to softer lactic acid). It is a delicious rosé with fine bubbles and layers of flavour, and while it seems expensive relative to most non-vintage pink sparklings, compared to prestige cuvée Champagnes – which share similar aged characters – it is actually good value.

6. Comte Audoin de Dampierre Cuvee des Ambassadeurs Premier Cru Rosé Brut

unknownPrice: £45
From: Champagne, France
Lees-ageing time: 3 years
Medal: Master (Rosé Masters, 2016)

It may lack the recognisable packaging of the Laurent-Perrier rosé featured above, but this similarly-priced pink fizz from Comte Audoin de Dampierre delivers just as much flavour, and a delicious chalky citrus character from the high proportion of Chardonnay in the blend – as much as 85% is made from the white grape, with 15% Pinot-based red wine used to give the wine its colour.

5. Akarua Rosé Brut Méthode Traditionelle NV

akarua_rose_brutPrice: £25
From: Central Otago, New Zealand
Lees-ageing time: 18 months
Medal: Gold (Rosé Masters, 2015)

An impressive sparkling find from New Zealand’s south island, Akarua’s Rosé Brut is a class act, with all the finesse and complexity of fine Champagne, but a bit more berry fruit from the sun-soaked vines of Central Otago. Made with the support of sparkling wine expert Dr Tony Jordan, Akarua is fast-becoming a benchmark New World fizz, whether it’s the blanc or rosé.

4. Wiston Estate Rosé 2011

wiston-estate-rose-2011Price: £36
From: Sussex, England
Lees-ageing time: 30 months
Medal: Gold (Rosé Masters, 2014)

One of the most exciting newcomers to the English wine scene, this pink fizz from Wiston Estate in Sussex shows the quality potential of the island nation when it comes to sparklers. Using Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and a touch of Pinot Meunier grown on the chalk soils of the South Downs, this wine has plenty of red berry fruit and the crisp apple freshness of cool-climate fizz. But it also has a creamy texture and bready flavours due to extended ageing on the lees and barrel fermentation. The 2011 vintage is one to go for, as the harvest benefitted from a warm dry September.

3. Champagne Charles Heidsieck Rosé Réserve

charles-heidsieck-rosePrice: £55
From: Champagne, France
Lees-ageing time: 4 years
Medal: Gold (Champagne Masters, 2015)

Few Champagne houses make better fizz than Charles Heidsieck, and its rosé is no exception. Due to the producer’s decision to age its wines for long periods on their lees, the pink fizz isn’t dominated by youthful berry fruit but delivers delicious bready and nutty characters, along with a slightly smoky finish. It’s a rich style of pink fizz that would pair well with food, but also has plenty of mouth-cleansing freshness – so you could happily sip it on its own.

2. Champagne Henriot Brut Rosé

henriot-brut-rosePrice: £55
From: Champagne, France
Lees-ageing time: 4 years
Medal: Gold (Champagne Masters, 2015)

This may not be a hugely well-known Champagne house, but it’s a perennial favourite at the drinks business. All its wines seem to offer a lovely combination of citrus fruit, a creamy mousse and an appealing toasty character, which the rosé complements with a touch of redcurrant and wild strawberry.

1. Champagne Laurent-Perrier Alexandra Rosé 2004

champagne-laurent-perrier-alexandra-rose-2004Price: £225
From: Champagne, France
Lees-ageing time: 8 years
Medal: Master (Champagne Masters, 2015)

Our top pick delivers an unrivalled combination of dried fruit, red berries, grilled nuts and fine-textured bubbles, along with a cleansing note of lemon peel and chalk. Nevertheless, this delicious mix does come at a price. Costing over £200, this is by far the most expensive pink sparkling in this list, but also – we believe – the world’s best rosé.

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