There are a couple of ways to make a rosé wine. Firstly, you can add a teeny bit of finished red wine to a finished white wine. This isn’t done much anymore, and is actually breaking the rules in countries like France. The second thing you could do, is to make a red wine, and then decolour it with an agent like activated carbon. This is fussy and time consuming, and altogether a bit silly, because it’s far easier to “bleed” your rosé in the Saignée method (Saignée means “bled” in french).
All grape juice is clear, no matter the colour of the skin, and the colour arrives only when the grapes are left in contact with the skin after the berries have burst. This stains the juice, and can give us onion-skin, pink, ruby or deep red wine, depending on how long it stays in contact. (A last method, Direct Pressing, is similar to the saignée method, in that the colour comes directly from the skins, however it is only in the tiniest amount as the grapes are only in contact with the skins for as long as it takes to press the grapes – this is used quite often in Provence)
But the skins of grapes don’t just have colour, they impart flavours and textures (e.g. tannin), and so for any rosé maker, it’s always a tricky balance between getting the desired colour and palate. There are of course different grape varieties, some of which are more densely colourful than others, and temperature and other factors can change the degree of colouration, but basically, as little as 2 hours can give you a pink wine, and around 10 -14 days will give you a black one. This particular wine has had 48 hours skin-contact, which is quite a bit for a rosé, and the resulting wine is therefore different from many others on the market.
Coloured like a maraschino cherry, and retaining about as much fruit character as the same. Nose is candy sweet, almost like a creme brulee, spicy-oaked and lightly cherried, though in a medicinal way. Palate is a little drier, with rich winemaking characters – extraction and oak again more than evident. Fruit enters towards the middle, with some dried strawberry and cumberland jelly, but it disappears quickly, dominated by an almond astringency upon the finish, which is almost dry. A gutsy rosé, and one for those who believe most roses are under-worked and overpriced. For me it’s a little obtuse, but many will love it’s difference from the crowd.
Price unknown (gift – believed to be approx 90AED and bought at Dubai Duty Free)