Our journey through the great wines of the world continues with another insightful expose from the irrepressible Widya, formally known as Kertawidyawati, who combines her day job as Corporate Training & Development Manager of Hatten Wines in Bali with an evening fascination with wine appreciation. Here she takes us on another pleasure cruise through the world of Rose!
Opening a bottle of Rosé takes my imagination to sunshine, cool breezes off the ocean on the beach, fresh after dipping in the pool, on to a great meal with delicious wine and food pairing combination ... yes all because of Rosé. There are a lot of different perceptions going on about Rosé, starting with the classic: it's a wine for ladies, too feminine for male drinkers, wine for beginners, just a second class citizen compared to red or white wines, and this list could be more longer. It has an image problem!
Did you know that to make Rosé - by law – it has to be made from red grapes? The pink – salmon-orange color comes from the choice of delicate red wine grapes with thin skin or because it can be made with a couple of different techniques. Direct pressing is just like the making of white wine, with a short time in the maceration process ( the process of skin contact with juice on the crushing grape process) or blending in a couple of grape varieties. European wine law doesn’t allow the blending of white and red grapes to make Rosé, except for Champagne. For Rosé Champagne, producers may add still Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier for hue and flavor. Outside of Europe, a few New World producers might blend white and red.
As basically Rosé could be made from any red grape variety, there are a couple of grapes that are very closely associated with Rosé and their region. In France, these are Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and a couple more and are basically the Provence Rosés that tend to be lighter in color and higher in acid. Tavel, the Rhône Valley region in France that specializes in dry Rosé with the primary grape used in Tavel is Grenache. Due to longer skin contact, Tavel wines achieve greater color and depth of red fruit flavor. This lends more tannin, structure, and age-worthiness from top producers. The Sancerre region uses Pinot Noir Grape and the Cabernet Franc dominant pinks of Anjou, there’s really a style of rosé for everyone in this diverse region.
In Italy Rosé known locally as Rosato is produced from still to sparkling wine, Tuscany and Piedmont fulfill our Rosé cravings from Sangiovese-based grapes including Nebbiolo and Freisa.
America has an interesting story for Rosé where it’s called White Zinfandel. In fact, it is actually red wine as the Zinfandel is but because it is a red grape variant, has only a couple of days on the skin to develop their pink color, which when they call white Zinfandel with a distinct style of off-dry or even sweet.
In the flavor component, as Rosé is made from Red Grapes of course you will taste the slight tannin in the wine, the balance between acidity, fresh fruit character, and the minerality in the wine. All that flavor brings forth my imagination when I open a bottle of Rosé!
For my wine review with Rosé, I would like to take you to Bali and introduce you to Hatten Aga Rosé, which was the first wine ever made in Bali by Hatten Winery 27 years ago! In the beginning, it was made only with Alphonse Lavallee the only red grape that grew in the North of Bali, more specifically Sangalangit area. But the current Hatten Aga Red is blended from Alphonse Lavallee, Muscat Bleu, and Malvasia Nera growth in Bali. Yes, you must be wondering about these two new grapes involving in the wine, Muscat Bleu, and Malvasia Nera with another three grape varieties: Colombard, Chenin Blanc, and Syrah, is the result of long research and development of Hatten Winery in their vineyard, as they have successfully grown international grape varieties in Bali - a break trough in tropical viticulture!
Back to the Hatten Aga Rosé a dry, light-body and medium acidity wine with fresh red fruit characteristic as strawberry, raspberry, cherry, a bit of cranberry, yellow plum, guava even white pepper in the palate, with just enough balance with light in Tannin giving Hatten Aga Rosé a deliciously fresh and rich in flavor.
The other interesting Rosé made by Hatten Winery is Two Island Rosé even though made in the same winery this wine is a totally different wine, made from a blend of Pinot Grigio, Grenache and Sangiovese grapes from South Australia, a dry Provence style with very aromatic floral and fruit flavor with high fresh acidity. Beautiful pale salmon color with medium body and high acidity with rose petal, ripe strawberry and fresh-cut watermelon in the nose and strawberry, peach, and lemon in the palate. What’s interesting is, if I compare between Hatten Aga Rosé and Two Island Rosé, I love Hatten Aga Rosé if I pair with food and Two Island Rose if I just like to have it in my hand to enjoy the day!
From the other region, I am taking you to Central Valley Region in Chile from the largest producer and exporter of wines from Latin America and one of the 10 largest wine companies in the World Concha y Toro to try the Frontera Rosé. It is made from the blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot and is intensely aromatic, with ripe red fruits especially cherries, and hints of floral notes, the wine is off-dry, light in body, medium acidity with nice balance with a ripe fruit flavor in the palate, tannins are low, but intense fruit flavor and very easy to drink. I believe with its off-dry and ripe fruit character this wine is easy to pair with food: Chinese food, Indonesian food will be easy and delicious pairing with this Chilean Rosé.
The other Rosé to try is De Bortoli’s Pale & Dry Rosé from a winery that exists from 1920 King Valley region in Victoria had Provence style Rosé, pale beautiful color with predominant Sangiovese grape has intense fruit aromas of peach and pomegranate. Everything you want in a dry Rosé - dangerously fresh, generously textured, a touch of spice a white pepper a very delicious one. The bottles are presented beautifully with unique packaging, featuring a color side-embossed screw cap that is the first closure decoration of its kind in the world.
Rosé is super easy to pair with food, the balance of the flavor of the Rosé itself helps on giving enough foundation to pair with food, even with the full flavor of food like Indonesian food that is rich with spice and flavor. You must try the combination of Nasi Goreng with Rosé, for my true comfort food. So why not let Rosé help you enjoy your day, freshen up your day, and enjoy your pairing!
In Memoriam: On this occasion, I would like to salute my mentor, my guru Anggiat Tobing as this review was the last review project with him before Covid took his wine passion to the next journey. “Last Toast for you Opung, rest in love”