Summer days and rosé wine from South Australia
South Australian Rosé
I love rosé, the texture, the styles, the varieties, the varietals. But what I love most is the dry style plus discovering how different grape varieties can make these amazing wines. We all know that Provençal rosé is growing in popularity and people might refer to an Australian rosé as a Provençal style. What I’ve gathered from that is that it’s dry with subtle fruit notes and hints of minerality.
I think South Australia is making some beautiful and rather stunning rosés.
They are different, interesting and many are dry. Here are a few I tried earlier this month:
S.C. Pannell: S.C. Pannell is an award winning winemaker. He’s won so many awards, I will not start to list them. But you can find them all on his site here. I wrote about the tasting experience on my recent blog here…He makes two rosés; the 2017 Nebbiolo Rosé and 2017 Grenache Rosé. For the price, they are both excellent value. I actually prefer the Grenache Rosé which is $10 cheaper at $25. Pretty good value for a South Australian rosé.
Grenache Rosé: So fresh, light and full of life. Perfect for $25! Below is a picture of a white wine I tasted on the lawn at S.C. Pannell. I bought the two rosés and had the Grenache later that evening, perfect.
Hanhndorf Hill Winery: Based in the Adelaide Hills, not far from the town of Hanhndorf is Hanhndorf Hill Winery. Owned by Larry Jacobs and Marc Dobson, Larry is known as the “grandfather of Grüner” in the UK. Since moving to Australia in 1997, Larry and Marc have been responsible for making Hanhndorf Hill an award winning winery. Not only are they pioneers in growing Austrian grape varieties of St Laurent, Blaufrankisch, Zweigelt and Grüner Veltliner, they also grow well-known varietals; Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Shiraz. With the soils in the hills comprising of three different soil types; slate, flint and quartz, they can accommodate a range of varieties.
When I went to the tasting room, Sloan was fantastic at explaining the range of wines to me. And I love the new labels which reflect the agriculture of the Adelaide Hills; the fields, vineyards and orchards.
Rosé 2017: This is dry (1.7 grams of residual sugar per litre). Mainly Trollinger with some Pinot Noir and Merlot make up the blend. Berry notes are prominent for me on the nose and there’s a lovely lift here. On the palate it’s fruit forward and with some weight on the middle palate. Finishes dry. $24 for the bottle.
They also offer chocolate tastings here. From the restaurant, it looks down and across to the vines below. I’ll need to try this as well as the chocolate and wine pairings.
La Prova wines: Last month, I was fortunate to meet Sam Scott who is the winemaker of La Prova (meaning ‘trial’) and his other label; Scott Wines. I was lucky to try a wine that is indeed a trial, it is a Pétillant-Naturel. This is where the primary fermentation occurs in the bottle and before it has finished, it is packed ready for the consumer. So unlike Champagne and other sparkling wines that follow the same winemaking method, there is no secondary fermentation in a bottle where yeasts and sugars are added. Plus this method doesn’t include any filtration so you can see the dead yeast cells at the bottom of the bottle.
Pét-Nat Aglianico Rosato 2017: I didn’t find it was funky at all. Perhaps that’s because it had just been bottled. But I loved the soft mousse to it, the fruit flavour and structure as well as the lower alcohol. I believe it was 12% and it finished dry. Plus the crown cap was pretty cool.
And it accompanies the Goats Cheese camembert and brie I bought from Udder Delights…I recommend going into the Udder Delights store on the high street for their cheese tastings!
Hersey Wines: On the high street in Hahndorf is this brand new cellar door, opened in July 2017. It is recently renovated in an old cottage with four rooms off the hallway. The cellar door or rather funky French inspired wine bar is off to the left with a lounge leading onto a terrace at the back. The other two rooms I believe are offices. I liked the French style, I felt I could have been in a French wine bar. I loved the vibe even if it was just two of us; Bre behind the bar and me.
2016 Pinot Pinot Chard! Rosé: This was a very interesting and unique blend that I thought worked very well. It is 50% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Gris and 25% Chardonnay. I was interested in learning about the wine style as it seems textured yet light and well integrated. Bre and Phil were able to answer all my questions. Each varietal is individually fermented using indigenous yeast in seasoned oak and left to settle for 4 months before being blended together. Plus the Pinot Gris that was added was quite ripe and textural which I’ve been told gave it a waxy/soapy mouthfeel and the winemakers wanted this because they wanted a dry Rosé but still approachable to all drinkers. Good call I say, love it!