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Margaret River Rosé By Erin Larkin

Rosé , amongst the lovers is a wine generally met with a smile. It speaks of summer sunsets, bright starts to long lunches, and a surprisingly eloquent ‘welcome-home-how-was-your-day’.  Choosing between them comes down to a matter of style, as does everything, and not all rosés (as we know) are created equal. The best are deliberate, focused, poised and generous, and show a bright array of flavours and textures.

Margaret River is making a really exciting variety of rosés, the best of which are scintillatingly layered, engagingly complex, and spicily dry. However, it’s challenging to talk about ‘rosé’ and ‘Margaret River’ in the same sentence, and not mention the winemaker who has sidled up and made himself synonymous with all things pink and see-through: Julian Langworthy. There is, since 2015, a rosé trophy at the Margaret River Wine Show. The winner gets a pink jacket. They’re pre-made funnily enough, in Julian’s measurements. He has won three of the past 5 Rosé trophies, so I suppose it is almost justified.

My TOP 5 of 2019:
Oates Ends Rosé 2019: Super pretty salmon colour… it’s a crushed oyster shell / pastel mandarin hue. I love the colour and would stare at it some more, were it not for the rose petals, strawberry and saffron spices wafting out of the glass. Pretty and generous. Love the texture through the mid-back palate. It’s chalky and fine, littered with fine white pepper. Wilyabrup tempranillo.

La Kooki Rosé Blonde 2019: Perfectly spiced, fine and layered, this has brilliant structure and generosity… Strawberry, hints of pomegranate and other red berries… but this is far from sweet. The Blonde is savoury and textural, driven by red currant, steered by spice, and carried through and over the palate by rippling acidity. My favourite Rosé Blonde yet – this has personality, energy and focus. M.R. Pinot Noir.

Thompson Estate Four Chambers Pinot Rosé 2019: Another Pinot Rosé, showing Goldilocks balance between ripe red berry fruit and fine exotic spice. A lovely, pure wine; ‘pretty’ was used thrice in the original note.

Nocturne Rosé 2019: The thing that really got me here, is the intensity of fruit flavour on the palate. This is concentrated. Sure: it looks good, it smells great… but I wasn’t prepared for the sheer volume of flavour on the palate. Big yes. Dry, textural, serious. Carbanup sangiovese, nebbiolo.

Deep Woods Harmony Rosé 2019: Can we even talk about rose from Margaret River without mentioning this little bargain? Unlikely. This is vibrant, fine, dry and knock-out value at under $15 almost everywhere you look. A surprising amount of structure and line for the price. Shiraz, tempranillo, grenache.

At the end of the day, whether you like it dry, lean and textural, generous spicy and layered, sweet, or otherwise (my personal preference is off the back of a boat over at Rotto in Summer, but we’re all different)… it’s a wine we love, and a wine we do pretty damn well here in WA.

As a little side note, since its inaugural trophy at the 2015 Margaret River Wine Show, the past five years of Rosé Trophy winners are:
2019 – Abbey Vale Premium Rosé
2018 – Coward & Black, Lady Margo Rosé
2017- Prevelli Wines, ‘Wild Thing’ Rosé
2016 – Deep Woods Harmony Rosé
2015 – Deep Woods Estate Rosé