The making of rosé wine
Author: Jack Grey
Today we shall take a foray into the pink hues of Rosé wine. This feature will delve into the different methods used to create these beautiful wines, some of the grapes in play, then we will focus on Pinot Noir Rosé itself, before we finally cast our eyes over some options from yours truly.
How is Rosé wine made?
First on the agenda for us is an exploration of how Rosé is produced. Below we have several different processes, some more complex than others:
- This is a key technique for making Rosé, where, quite simply, red grape skins and grape juice are left together for a certain period of time. The winemaker can choose the depth of the pink that he or she wants for the Rosé by allowing more or less contact time between the skins and the juice. The less time that is spent on this, the lighter the colour of the wine, and of course the reverse is true for wines with more contact. The winemaking process is then continued.
- With the Direct Press method, there is a very short contact time for the juice and the grape skins. Due to this more brief period together, these Rosé offerings will tend to be quite a pale colour.
- Saignée, or “bleeding” (a method used during red wine production) is another way of creating Rosé. Here, some of the juice is ‘bled’ off or removed early in the red winemaking process. This juice will have a lighter colour as it has been stopped from macerating earlier, and this can then be used to make Rosé.
- It is interesting to note that this process is also important for winemakers who wish to make more concentrated reds.
Pinot Noir Rosé and other grapes
Now that we know how to make Rosé wines, we can look into their “ingredients”. There is quite a variety of grapes that can be used in their creation. Examples include: Grenache, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. But for now we will cast our attention to one in particular: the famous Pinot Noir.
When I consider this celebrated grape, my mind is transported to Burgundy in France, and further afield, to New Zealand. But Pinot Noir is also an important player in the Rosé scene. When used for the creation of pink wines, it creates delicate offerings, often with notes of strawberry, crabapple, and melon. It is produced in the Loire in France, and Oregon in the US, and, as you are about to see, is also made in England.
First-Rate Stanlake Park Pinot Rosé
For pink vino drinkers, Stanlake Park has a couple of options that have been made with this very grape. The first, for fans of still wines, is the Pinot Noir Rosé, with lovely fruity notes and a light pink hue, this is a great option for those more delicate dishes. It is made with around 4-5 hours of skin contact.
If bubbly is tickling your fancy, then the Rosé Sparkling Wine is there to quench your thirst. It is made in a similar way to the still Rosé, and has also spent two years on its lees (you may remember lees ageing from the Spanish Sparkling Wine post). This again has a lighter pink colour, and some delicious fruity aromas. It is a wonderful choice for a celebration in the sunshine.
A pink wine recap
After plenty of suggestion, Rosé may be on your mind. The next time you pour yourself a glass, you will know a little more about the product that you are drinking. Locked in your brains will be several production methods and a list of the grapes used, a more in depth understanding of Pinot Noir Rosé, and finally some Stanlake Park options at your fingertips. So… Keep tasting!