By now I think most of us are sold on rosé as a great all-rounder – we’ve moved on from concerns about the simple, lolly-water, grenache-heavy versions that gave the style a bad name, and are enjoying pale, dry, refreshing food friendly wines. So what’s left to say? Well, recently I’ve been digging deeper into pink wines and finding some delicious drops from small producers – some organic, some biodynamic, some that just use a little extra skin contact (for white grapes) and bottle their wines unfined and unfiltered. Here are five of my favourite natural rosés, get down to your local independent bottle shop or P&V Wine & Liquor Merchants, and find some more?
Smallfry Rosé Barossa Valley, SA
This biodynamic winery foot-stomps cinsault, grenache, and mataro, then allows the juice to ferment with wild yeasts and undergo spontaneous malolactic fermentation, to produce a remarkably soft, savoury rosé with a hint of white pepper on the back palate. Try it with gnocchi alla Sorrentina.
Koerner Tiver Clare Valley, SA
Second generation winemakers, Damon and Jonathan Koerner, take sangiovese and sciacarello (a Corsican grape) from their family vineyard, ferment it naturally and leave it on lees for about 5 months, to produce this pale, refreshing rosé. Great with eggplant Parmigiana.
Soumah Ai Fiori Yarra Valley, Vic
With a passion for Italian varietals, Soumah combines nebbiolo, a splash of white savagnin and shiraz to create a beautifully balanced wine with a slightly floral nose (the name is Italian for ‘in the flowers’). There’s a faint hint of fruit on the palate and a dry, tangy finish. I love it with antipasti.
La Petite Mort Rosé Granite Belt, Qld
This unashamedly experimental label from Queensland’s cool Granite belt produces some delicious quirky wines. Their pinot noir and sangiovese rosé has a touch of pinot cherry fruit followed by a completely dry finish. It’s a natural with warm duck & orange salad.
Logan Clementine Orange, NSW
Pinot gris from the slopes of Mount Canobolas is wild yeast-fermented on skins, some by carbonic maceration, to produce this beautiful pink-orange wine. Great texture, a touch of bitterness on the back palate and soft tannins that work well with meat dishes like spice-rubbed lamb backstrap.