by Alf Bock
Rosé is the top selling wine style in France, and the French know a bit about wine. So it is great to see it is becoming increasingly popular in Australia. But these wines are a world away from the sweet, cloyingly pink bubble gum drinks of yesteryear you may remember. Crisp, dry, refreshing wines are the new norm. And in the Swan Valley we have some outstanding examples.
So let’s get out and try some of the rosés we have to offer. Here’s a suggestion to test drive 11 of the best.
Starting in Guildford, the gateway to the Valley, drive over Barkers Bridge along West Swan Road and swing left into Benara Road and we have a Trophy Winner from the Swan Valley Wine Show in Pinelli Estate Wines’ excellent Breanna. Shimmering pink, this has classic strawberry aromas on the nose, with flavours of tart raspberries and a crisp, dry finish.
Head back onto West Swan Road and across the road to Sandalford whose crisp, flavoursome and well-balanced limited edition 1840 Swan Valley Rosé was a sell out within months of release. Sample their beautiful Margaret River rosé, and stay tuned for the next release from their upcoming 2022 Swan Valley vintage coming soon.
Back on West Swan Road and over Reid Highway is Lancaster and theirs has delightful toffee apple aromas with flavours of cherries and cranberries and a pleasing dry finish.
Further along West Swan is Ugly Duckling Wines and more strawberries and cream; this one is slightly sweeter than the previous two. If you visit in warmer months, you may even get to enjoy their very popular frosé (frozen rosé).
Continue on to the end of West Swan Road and head right onto Great Northern Highway. On the left, Haddrill Road will take to you to Swan Valley Wines and their exciting Tempranillo and Malvasia blend. Aromas of red berries are a prelude to a bouquet of sour cherries and dried raspberries.
Now head back to Great Northern Highway and on your left is Pandemonium Estate and their Rosier. Delicate pale pink, it has cherry and strawberry aromas, with raspberry and plum flavours lingering on a crisp, dry finish.
Heading on again and Olive Farm Wines and their darker coloured Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé is another with a little mid-palate sweetness.
Take another short detour from the Highway onto Barret Street and Sittella and their lovely Berns and Walsh Rosé made from Grenache and Tempranillo. Raspberry and strawberry aromas and rhubarb flavours make for a snappy finish.
Moving along and again on the Highway on your right is Oakover, with the White Label Rosé made from Shiraz. Bright pink with cherry and raspberry aromas, and sweet strawberry and cream flavours.
Turn right onto Reid Highway and on the left Harris Road will take you to Mandoon. Cherry and musk aromas are followed by toffee apple and raspberry flavours, with a little lingering sweetness.
Then at the intersection of West Swan Road, turn left back to our starting point but before the journey ends fittingly another Gold Medal and Trophy winner at Riverbank (left onto Hamersley Road) with Rebellious rosé. A blend of Shiraz, Malbec, Tempranillo and Grenache it has crushed rose petal and cherry aromas and tart pomegranate and rhubarb flavours.
But this is just a taster; Upper Reach, Chouette, Windy Creek, Mann, Nielson Estate, and Garbin and more have satisfying rosés to sample. So grab a map from the Swan Valley Visitor Centre, nominate a driver, and head off to explore.