Rosé has gone through an interesting journey. At one time the supermarket wine aisles were awash with deeply coloured, sickly-sweet pink wine epitomised by the truly awful White Zinfandel. Then came the backlash which has seen dry versions modelled on the classic Provence style appear everywhere, and become progressively paler in colour. An improvement, but they often taste of very little - or at least all the same.
Lately though we've come across many serious, characterful rosés, made by quality-focused small producers who want to make something equally delicious and interesting.
We've just taken delivery of Frank Cornelissen's 2020 Susucaru Rosato (the rosé version of the red featured here a month or so back). Made with both red and white varieties grown on the slopes of Mount Etna, it blurs the lines between red, rosé and orange styles and is both supremely drinkable and wildly different.
Also from the natural wine universe, we have another Sicilian wine from the excellent Vino di Anna, their 2019 Jeudi 15 Rosato made from very old Nerello Mascalese bush vines planted at 800m altitude. And over in northern Greece, the ever-experimental Ktima Ligas have come up with Pata Trava Rosé, a 100% Xinomavro wine made in 2018 and which is developing some serious complexity.
If all this is sounding a bit too unconventional, then there are also rosés in a more familiar style which are still made sensitively and deliver on quality well above the everyday. Can Sumoi's 2020 La Rosa is a blend of Parellada, Sumoll and Xarel-lo and is dry, fresh and with plenty of flavour. And over on Crete, the always brilliant Lyrarakis make a Liatiko Rosé from a native Greek variety which will give anything from Provence a run for its money.
Our full selection of Rosé is online now.