We’re in the pink this summer, and sunny blue skies demand nothing less than a glass or two of well-chilled Italian rosé. We’ve discovered six of the best…
With summer in full swing, we thought it time to take a look at rosé. Each year the rise of rosé continues, and the Italian style of drier wines with a crisp freshness is well-suited to today’s drinking palate.
All rosé wines are made from red grapes. The fruit is left on the skins – usually for just a couple of hours or so – and that is when the juice takes on colour and subtle flavour from the must, a nuance of what the grapes have to offer. The skills required are no less technical than those that go into producing a top-flight red or white wine, as it’s the careful maintenance of the maturing process that can make or break the final result. When you compare the colours of the wines in the bottles, you can see how much they vary, from a very deep pink to a barely-there blush.
We’ve chosen wines from a variety of different grapes, and the subtleties in colour and taste are a revelation. But the one thing they all have in common is that they should all be served under a blue sky.
Discovery of the month
Cantina di Monteforte ‘Terre di Monteforte’ Pinot Grigio Rosato 2017
With the palest of coppery-pink hues, this 100 per cent Pinot Grigio is a pretty glass. Alongside cherry and strawberry aromas, the lemony acidity on the nose hints at a crispness to come on the palate.
A touch of cherry drops alongside sweeter summer-pudding berries in the glass keeps it dry and invigorating to the last drop.
Pair with: Fresh fish straight from the barbecue, grilled vegetables or filled tortellini in sage butter
From: Liberty Wines, £10.99
The best of the rest…
Pinot Grigio Rosé Montevento 2016
The grapes for Montevento Pinot Grigio Rosé come from the northeast of Italy. With a gentle blush in the glass with a hint of copper, this lively fresh wine is 100 per cent Pinot Grigio. On the nose, it is abundant with the scents of summer fruits. Brimming with apricot, strawberry and raspberry on the palate, this fruitiness is tempered by a subtle snap of apple acidity and a flinty minerality. Light-bodied and easy-drinking, this is one you should try this summer.
Pair with: Salumi, fish or white meat, or just on its own as an easy-drinking aperitivo
From: Corney & Barrow, £8.95
Rosa dei Frati, Cà Dei Frati, 2016
Cà dei Frati is home to the Dal Cero family, and their vineyards along the southern shores of Lake Garda at Sirmione and Desenzano produce the grapes for this gem of a wine. Pale pink, with a touch of terracotta, this rosé is pleasingly dry and refreshing. Delicately fragranced with cherry and floral notes, it’s well-balanced on the palate with sweet strawberries and tart raspberries. Deliciously restrained and elegant, it’s has a vibrant, lengthy finish.
Pair with: Lobster and king prawns, spaghetti vongole, or on its own with your friends
From: Liberty Wines, around £18.99
Montonale Rosa di Notte, Garda Classico Chiaretto 2016
This rosé is a blend of four grapes: Marzemino, Groppello, Sangiovese and Barbera from La Madonnina, one of the oldest vineyards on Lake Garda. Salmon-pink in hue, it has strawberry and cherry aromas with just a hint of herby sage. Delicate and subtle, it has great poise and a finely balanced palate of summer fruits with a pop of raspberry acidity to bring every sip to a smooth and refreshing conclusion.
Pair with: Grilled chicken or vegetables, spicy pastas, and fresh fried sardines
From: Berry Bros & Rudd, £12.25
Mezzacorona Castel Firmian Lagrein 2015
The Trentino province of Italy is known as an area where you’ll find top-class whites. Add rosé to that category, as this wine from producer Mezzacorona has great elegance and structure. Made with the Lagrein grape variety, which is rarely made into rosé, it boasts red cherry and plum aromas with more berry fruit in the glass and a hint of citrus. Well-balanced and dry with a long, slightly mineral finish, you’ll love its freshness on a sunny day.
Pair with: Perfect as an aperitivo, ideal with antipasti, salumi and white meats like chicken
From: Nife is Life, £13.90
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Pinot Grigio Dolomiti Blush 2016
From the Cavit winery in the Dolomites, where the long, warm summer days and cool nights produce aromatic wines, this rosé is very pale in colour – only just pink – and has a very subtle rose petal aroma. It’s clean and refreshing to taste, with crisp apple and a touch of cherry. Perfect as an easy-drinking aperitivo, serve it well chilled on a summer’s evening in the back garden.
Pair with: Light pasta dishes such as seafood linguine or a creamy fresh pea risotto
From: Sainsbury’s, £7.00
For more great Italian wines to try this summer, you’ll find plenty of reviews here.