Rosé Rocks again in 2016 with a host of varieties, sparkling and non

THERE HAVE been leading Cap Classique sparkling wine houses fielding good Rosé for some time now, whereas there still aren’t many of South Africa’s very best red or white wine cellars that produce Rosé or Blanc de Noir or Blush without a bubble – and those that do seem to dabble in it occasionally rather than commit in a serious fashion year after year.

Nevertheless, the Cape’s Rosé industry is producing some world-class wines. So reiterated Cape Wine Master Allan Mullins at the second edition of the Rosé Rocks competition for the Cape’s pink (or salmon or onion-skin colour) wines at which he was chief judge. Also on the jury: wine writers Marthelize Tredoux, Shante Hutton and Malu Lambert, Test Kitchen restaurant sommelier Tinashe Nyamudoka and Cape Grace Hotel sommelier Tatiana Marcetteau. And their pick of the 136 wines entered this time round: Antebellum’s Saffronne 2015 from Pinotage in the still wine category and the non-vintage Kleine Zalze Brut Rosé MCC from From Pinot Noir (60%) and Chardonnay (40%) in terms of the bubblies.

Contrary to the sweet style that was common on local Rosé shelves in the past, most of the good pinks these days are dry versions that can make for decent alternatives to various whites on the market – particularly at the poolside, at cocktail parties, picnics and fun times in general.

Top Wines at Rosé Rocks 2016 – Non-Sparkling

Allée Bleue Starlette Shiraz Rosé 2016 – R48pb
Cellar outside Franschhoek

Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé 2016 – R97pb
Cellar in Simonsberg-Paarl

Bellingham Strawberry Rosé 2016 – Woolworths Exclusive
Tasting Room at Franschhoek Cellar

Cavalli Pink Pony Grenache Rosé 2015 – R80pb
Cellar in Helderberg, Stellenbosch

Excelsior Caitlyn Rosé 2016 – R44pb
Cellar in Robertson

Fable Mountain Belle Flower 2014 – R140pb
Cellar in Tulbagh, Tasting Room at Mulderbosch in Stellenbosch

Fish Hoek Cinsault Rosé 2016 (Accolade) – R38pb
Tastings at Flagstone Winery, Somerset West

Lace by Almenkerk Dry Rosé 2016 – R90pb
Cellar in Elgin

Painted Wolf The Den Rosé 2016 – R65pb
Tasting Room in Paarl

Saffronne Pinotage Rosé 2015 (Antebellum) – R60pb
Cellar outside Riebeek Kasteel

Thokozani Rosé 2015 (Diemersfontein) – R52pb
Cellar in Wellington

Top Cap Classique Bubblies at Rosé Rocks 2016

Boschendal Brut Rosé NV – R145pb
Cellar outside Franschhoek

Kleine Zalze Brut Rosé NV – R99pb
Cellar in Stellenbosch

Le Lude Rosé NV – R200pb
Cellar in Franschhoek

Lord’s Brut Rosé NV – R135pb
Cellar outside McGregor