Rosé and Sparkling Wines – January 2022

As a fresh, chilled alternative to white wines, rosé is New Zealand’s hot new wine style. Over the past five years, every second producer has plunged into the market and rosé exports have soared by over 800 per cent.

Most rosés are dry or slightly off-dry. Those grown from Hawke’s Bay north are often based on merlot, but not always. By contrast, rosés from the Wairarapa and southern regions are usually made from pinot noir (although those labelled ‘Pinot Rosé’ are frequently blends of pinot noir and pinot gris). With salmon, rosé can be a magical match.

Fizz, bubby, sparkling – whatever name you call it by (the word Champagne is reserved for the real stuff, from the famous region in north-east France), wine with bubbles in it is popular, especially at this time of the year.

The penetrating flavours and appetising acidity of New Zealand’s white wines are well suited to the production of top-class sparkling wines. The best are all made by the méthode traditionnelle, in which the wine has its secondary, bubble-creating fermentation not in a tank, but in the bottle itself, where it is matured on its yeast lees, often for several years, gaining in richness and complexity.



Best Buys

Esk Valley Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2021, 4.5 stars, $20

Villa Maria Earth Garden Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2021, 4.5 stars, $20

Vidal Reserve Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2021, 4 stars, $20


Treat Yourself

Askerne Sérieux Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2021, 5 stars, $25

Lawson’s Dry Hills Pink Pinot 2021, 5 stars, $25

Misha’s Vineyard The Soloist Central Otago Pinot Rosé 2021, 5 stars, $28

The Elder Martinborough Rosé 2021, 5 stars, $31



Best Buys

Soljans Fusion Sparkling Moscato NV 4 stars $17


Treat Yourself

Cloudy Bay Pelorus Rosé NV 5 stars $45

Spy Valley Echelon Marlborough Méthode Traditionnelle NV 5 stars $40