Pink wines — a bridge between summer and winter

Blaauwklippen Rosé 2023 – a stellar pink vino.
THINK PINK Blaauwklippen Rosé 2023 – a stellar pink vino.
Image: Supplied

#rosérocks #roséallday #yeswayrosé — the social media hashtags tell a story that’s worth taking notice of even if you’re not on Instagram, X and so on.

The story is that rosé is big, and it’s constantly getting better, as both locally and globally the pink stuff is loved as a crisp and refreshing sip packed with fruity flavour, dry rather than sweet usually, and the flavours tending towards delicacy and purity rather than bold and jammy.

That makes rosé a bit of a bridge between summer and winter, also a bit of a bridge between red and white wines — a bit of the best of both — and generally it’s an easy wine to pair with food.

It has also become a wine grown and made with intent, rather than an offshoot or by-product of red winemaking

Winemakers are exploring how the characteristics of different red grapes are translated into pink wines in the short time that the dark skins are in contact with the pressed juice to impart blushing colour of varying intensity.

Blaauwklippen winemaker Narina Cloete chooses Zinfandel and Malbec for the Blaauwklippen Rosé, interesting because they’re not the most commonly used in SA for rosé, but both are grapes from which she makes superb red wines for the estate.

Newly released 2023 (±R150 at Makro and Preston’s) is 62% Zinfandel, 38% Malbec, the grapes lightly whole-bunched pressed to extract optimal flavour but light colour — the result a delicate rose-gold hue (perfect for an Instagrammable sunset-sundowner shot).

Where some pink wines can be just a bit of fun, fruity and crisp but not much more, the Blaauwklippen Rosé delivers lots of interest — strawberries, Turkish delight, a touch of citrus on the nose are echoed in the mouth.

The wine has a creamy feel, a lick of minerality and some savoury notes winding through the fruit, for a refreshing and intriguing glass.

Serve it on a summer’s day, for sundowners, or alongside flavourful dishes of seafood or light curry.

Just a note on Zinfandel, one of the components of the rosé — it’s the genetic equivalent to Croatia’s and Italy’s Primitivo, and widely planted in California, where it produces bold, spicy reds and rosé-style “white zin”, a pale, slightly sweet, quite insubstantial “pool wine” which does Zinfandel’s reputation no favours.

Blaauwklippen was the first to plant it in SA, in the late 1970s, and the Blaauwklippen Rosé is about as far from the widely-derided white/pink Zin that you can get!

Do also look out for the full-bodied red Blaauwklippen Zinfandel, deeply sweet-sour cherries, dark chocolate and liquorice with floral notes, rich but fresh, a different red experience; and the deliciously savoury Blaauwklippen Malbec, abundant with dark berries and flinty minerality.


Blaauwklippen Rosé 2023
GREAT CHOICE: Blaauwklippen Rosé 2023
Image: Supplied

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