2015 Rosé Rocks Results: Tamboerskloof Katharien charms her way to the top
RANGING in colour from shocking pink to salmon and pale onion, Rosé can be made by blending red and white grapes, but mostly it’s made from red grapes whose skins are left on the must during fermentation – the juice is run off the skins soon after pressing and treated the same way as white wine, ranging from dry to sweet, and not fogetting the sparkling versions. In South Africa, it’s a category where track records are still in the making as more and more of the leading producers try their hand with wines that for many years were few in number, mainly sweet and often an after-thought or a way of dealing with left-overs. Today there are numerous cellars where Rosés have become integral to the portfolio, including some which stand out from the hundreds of quaffers as drinks of interest even to serious wine lovers.
Rosé Rocks is the first competition specifically for South Africa’s pink wines, and such has the market boomed over the past 20 years that the inaugural event attracted over 160 entries, most of them dry and over 30 of them bubblies made according to the traditional, bottle-fermented method for which Champagne is famous. The judges included Cape Wine Master Allan Mullins (chair), wine writers Marthelize Tredoux and Neil Pendock, sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka of The Test Kitchen restaurant, winemaker Praisy Dlamini of Distell and food and wine writer cum restaurant critic Malu Lambert.
The overall winners? Tamberkloof Katharien 2015, a Syrah Rosé from the small farm Kleinood in the Blaauwklippen Valley on the slopes of the Helderberg, Stellenbosch – Katharien being the only daughter and youngest child of property owners Gerard and Libby de Villiers. And the non-vintage Villiera Brut Rosé sparkling wine made for Woolworths by the Grier family in the northern reaches of Stellenbosch – one of the three most successful bubbly producers in the Cape.
TOP 10 STILL WINES IN 2015 ROSÉ ROCKS COMPETITION
Arabella Pink Panacea 2015 (Ashton) – R40
Brampton Rosé 2015 (Stellenbosch) – R50
Eagle’s Cliff Shiraz Rosé 2015 (Worcester) – R30
Fat Bastard Pinot Noir Rosé 2014 (Robertson Winery) – R68
Noble Hill Mourvèdre Rosé 2015 (Simonsberg-Paarl) – R54
Noble Savage Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2015 (Bartinney, Banghoek, Stellenbosch) – R43
Signal Gun Rosé 2015 (Durbanville) – R61
Tamboerskloof Katharien 2015 (Syrah Rosé, Kleinood, Helderberg, Stellenbosch) – R76
Vinay Rosé Natural Sweet NV (Slanghoek, Breedekloof) – R30
Warwick The First Lady Dry Rosé 2015 (Simonsberg, Stellenbosch) – R80
TOP THREE CAP CLASSIQUE BUBBLIES IN 2015 ROSÉ ROCKS COMPETITION
Klein Optenhorst Pinot Noir Brut Rosé 2012 (Wellington) – R150
Plettenvale Brut Rosé NV (Plettenberg Bay) – R130
Villiera Woolworths Brut Rosé NV (Koelenhof, Stellenbosch) – R90
BEST DESIGNED LABEL IN 2015 ROSÉ ROCKS COMPETITION
Pink Pony Grenache Rosé (Cavalli Estate, Helderberg, Stellenbosch) – R45