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10 brilliant rosés that won’t break the bank

We bring you ten of the best-performing pink wines under £15 from The Drinks Business Rosé Masters 2017 – including delicious examples from France and Spain, and one from Turkey too. By Patrick Schmitt MW.

Over the following pages we have selected the top-scoring wines among the sub-£15 samples from our Global Rosé Masters 2017 – highlighting the quality available at lower price points.

Each of these wines has achieved a Gold medal in the competition, which is a highly impressive accolade due to the rigorous nature of our judging process and the exacting palates of our judges – who are listed below.

The ten rosés that feature come from a range of regions, but all of them are from Europe, while, highlighting the importance of freshness in this wine style, each example is from the 2016 vintage.

While the majority of the wines are bone dry, we have included two examples with a touch of sweetness – a little bit of residual sugar adds a desirable richness and weight to rosé, as long as its balanced by a palate-cleansing freshness.

As one might expect, pink wines from Provence did dominate the Gold medal winners, but beyond southern France, the judges were highly impressed with the quality achieved in Spain at lower prices.

In particular, Rioja proved itself a first-rate source of good-value rosé based on Grenache and Tempranillo.

Each of these wines were been judged blind, allowing our experts to asses them purely for quality without prejudice about their brand.

The rosés were tasted over the course of one day at Bumpkin in London’s South Kensington on 17 May.

While this is just a selection of the top-performers for under £15, you can see all the medal-winners in The Drinks Business Rosé Masters by clicking here.

The judges in the Global Rosé Masters 2017: Top row (left to right) • Patrick Schmitt MW, editor-in-chief, the drinks business • Antony Moss MW, director of strategic planning, WSET • Jonathan Pedley MW, wine lecturer and consultant • Christine Parkinson, group head of wine, The Hakkasan Group • Clive Barlow MW, wine trainer and consultant • Clément Robert MS, group head sommelier and wine buyer, 28º-50º Bottom row (left to right) • Elizabeth Gabay MW, wine writer, Provençal rosé specialist • Dee Blackstock MW, wine buyer and consultant • Beverly Blanning MW, wine writer and lecturer • Patricia Stefanowicz MW, wine educator and consultant

10. Caliza Rosado, 2016

The style: Off-dry rosé

The medal: Gold

The price: Approx. £6-7 (UK retail)

The sugar content: 7g/l

The producer: Félix Solís Avantis

The source: La Mancha, Spain

The grapes: 100% Tempranillo

The taste: With masses of ripe red cherry fruit and a touch of sweetness, balanced by a firm, fresh finish, this is a great-value, relatively full-bodied, lip-smacking rosé. It is a juicy style of pink, and richer than one would find from Provence, but, packed with warm-climate Spanish fruit, it is a highly versatile rosado that would be equally happy with barbecued food as it would be sipped on its own, or preferably accompanied by nothing more than a bowl of Marcona almonds…

9. Kavaklidere Leyla Rosé, 2016

The style: Off-dry rosé

The medal: Gold

The price: Approx. £9

The sugar content: 12g/l

The producer: Kavaklidere

The source: Aegean, Turkey

The grapes: 100% Çal Karasi

The taste: With the pink wine market dominated by labels from Provence, it’s wonderful to unearth something from a different location that offers both quality and a distinctive taste. Hailing from Turkey, the Leyla Rosé is made using the native Çal Karasi grape – which is particularly suited to making pink wine, as the variety produces sweet strawberry-scented wines with a bright acidity. Containing some residual sugar, this rosé isn’t bone dry, but the freshness of the Çal Karasi grape ensures the wine has a crisp, mouth-watering finish. A great option for spicy food, such a Thai salads.

8. Izadi, Larrosa, 2016

The style: Dry rosé

The medal: Gold

The price: Approx. £10

The sugar content: 1g/l

The producer: Izadi

The source: Rioja, Spain

The grapes: 100% Grenache

The taste: A pretty looking wine – both in terms of packaging and colour – that delivers lots of fresh raspberry fruit and a touch of ripe peach too. Using old vine Grenache planted at a relatively high altitude in Rioja’s cooler sub-region of Rioja Alavesa, the wine successfully mixes a lovely juiciness with a palate-cleansing freshness. Although it’s not as delicate as a rosé from Provence, it is a bright and fruity pink with an upmarket appearance that offers great value-for-money.

7. Condesa de Leganza, Tempranillo Rosado, 2016

The style: Dry rosé

The medal: Gold

The price: Approx £8

The sugar content: 1g/l

The producer: Grupo Faustino

The source: Castilla-La Mancha, Spain

The grapes: 100% Tempranillo

The taste: Despite this rosé’s pale appearance, it is crammed with masses of ripe sweet-smelling crushed strawberries, giving it more texture and fruit than the Provençal pinks it is designed to look like. Importantly, it delivers a lot of punch for the price, so, while it may be not be a complex wine, it is a super summery rosé that highlights the value-for-money in Spain.

6. Le Petit Rosé Tout Simple, 2016

The style: Dry rosé

The medal: Gold

The price: Approx £11

The sugar content: 1g/l

The producer: Château Léoube

The source: Provence, France

The grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Mouvedre

The taste: This delicate dry rosé delivers that classic Provençal combination of strawberry and peach fruit flavours with a mouth-watering citrus and redcurrant bite, making it hard not to drink at a rapid rate. Simple by name and nature, but a well-made and moreish rosé at a relatively good price, it’s an excellent entry point into the pinks from Provence.

5. Château La Sauvageonne Volcanic Rosé, 2016

The style: Dry rosé

The medal: Silver

The price: Approx £15

The sugar content: 1g/l

The producer: Gérard Bertrand

The source: Languedoc, France

The grapes: 50% Grenache, 30% Cinsault, 20% Syrah

The taste: This beautifully-presented biodynamic rosé from the south of France is a brilliant find, made using grapes from mineral-rich soils with volcanic origins in the desirable Terrasses du Larzac in the Languedoc. It’s a rosé laden with ripe red fruits and rose petals, that’s also layered and creamy. Tight and fresh on the finish, but with a broad mid-palate texture, this rosé benefits from a subtle oak-influence – a small proportion of the wine is aged in barrels.


4. Mirabeau Pure, 2016

The style: Dry rosé

The medal: Gold

The price: Approx £13

The sugar content: less than 1g/l

The producer: Mirabeau

The source: Provence, France

The grapes: 60% Grenache, 40% Syrah

The taste: Just looking at this rosé makes one thirsty, and its combination of strawberries and peach, light body, and lightly bitter citrus peel finish, won’t disappoint – in fact, there are few more refreshing alcoholic drinks on this planet. Delicate and delicious, don’t expect a bottle to last long.


3. M-G Rosé Grande Cuvée, 2016

The style: Dry rosé

The medal: Gold

The price: Approx £14

The sugar content: 1g/l

The producer: Maison Gutowski

The source: Provence, France

The grapes: 40% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Cinsault, 10% Rolle

The taste: This may have modern packaging, but this is classic Provencal rosé with masses of crushed red berries, and a touch of peach and nectarine too, along with a bright, fresh, slightly crunchy fruit finish. Well-made, with the lovely delicate ripe berry fruit that makes pinks from Provence so popular.

2. Ontañón Clarete, 2016

The style: Dry rosé

The medal: Gold

The price: Approx £10

The sugar content: 3 g/l

The producer: Bodegas Ontañón

The source: Rioja, Spain

The grapes: 85% Viura, 15% Tempranillo

The taste: This wine make look like a textbook Provençal rosé, but not only does it hail from Spain, it’s created primarily from a white grape – Viura. Called Clarete, this is a traditional style of rosado Rioja made mixing the unfermented grape juice of white and red berries, before part-fermenting the combination with the skins from red grapes. The result is a wine that’s delicate in colour and taste, with some peach and apple along with a touch of red berry fruit. Mixing an oily mid-palate and a bright finish, this is a lovely, balanced rosé that’s a bit different.


1. Château Coussin, 2016

The style: Dry rosé

The medal: Gold

The price: Approx £15

The sugar content: less than 1g/l

The producer: Famille Sumeire

The source: Provence, France

The grapes: 70% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 10% Syrah

The taste: Our final rosé in this line-up is slightly pricier than the rest, but delivers plenty of personality for those extra pennies. Mixing sweet peach and lip-smacking pink grapefruit, it is beautifully clean and taut on the finish, but broad and mouth-filling too. A lovely example of a wine-style that’s actually extremely difficult to get absolutely right.

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