Rosé is the top selling wine style in France, and they know a bit about wine. So it is great to see it is becoming more and more 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.
Anyway, let’s get out and try some of the rosés we have to offer. Here’s a suggestion to test drive.
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 Gold Medal winner from the Swan Valley Wine Show in Pinelli Estate Wines excellent Breanna Rosé. Shimmering pink, this has classic strawberry aromas on the nose, with flavours of tart raspberries and a crisp, dry finish.
Back on West Swan Road and over Reid Highway is Lancaster and theirs is another with strawberries and cream aromas, flavours of cherries and cranberries and a pleasing dry finish.
Further along West Swan is Ugly Duckling Wines and more strawberries and cream, with this one slightly sweeter than the previous two.
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 Frisson. Made from a little seen grape, Aleatco, this has aromas of crushed rose petals and lychees, with flavours of cranberries and dried strawberries.
Now back to Great Northern Highway and on your left is Pandemonium Estate and their Rosier made from Tempranillo. Delicate pale pink, Rosier 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.
Then another short detour from the Highway on Barret Street and Sittella and their Bronze Medal winning Berns and Walsh Dry 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 left is Oakover Grounds, with Silver Medallist 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 Estate. Cherry and musk aromas are followed by toffee apple and raspberry flavours.
Then at the intersection with West Swan Road, turn left back to our starting point, but before the journey ends there is, fittingly, another Gold Medal winner at RiverBank Estate (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; Houghton, Sandalford, Upper Reach, Windy Creek, Neilson Estate, Garbin, Jane Brook and more have satisfying rosés to sample. So bring your designated driver, grab a map from the Swan Valley Visitor Centre, and explore.