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Rosé Tasting - 14 February '23

On the 14th of February, we tasted six of the top Rose’s that were in Makro, Liquor City and Norman Goodfellows (List available on request). There are 94 Rose’s below 5g/l RS that have not been blended with more than 3% of a white grape, and have been made by the Saignee process (“Bleed Technique”). Tasters were given a full set of notes, detailing the chemical analysis, vineyard practices, vinification and the winemaker’s descriptions for each wine. Thanks kindly to Cornel Brand of Meerhof and Nastassja of Jakkalsvlei for their Fact Sheets. The wines were tasted together and served at the same starting temperatures. After the tasting was complete, we tasted a Seven Oaks Rose, which is not available from Bottle Stores and was kindly donated by Bruce Downing of Seven Oaks. It was also scored and is reflected at eighth. The following is the tasting (notes are from the tasters and myself), as well as the resultant scores.

1. Durbanville Hills Merlot Rose 2022 (100% Merlot)

Colour- light pink. Nose- raspberry, citrus, Turkish delight. Palate- crisp acids, savoury, with sweet fruit entry, pears and red cherries, which linger to the finish.

Score- 16.14.

2. Steenberg Ruby Rose 2021 (100% Shiraz)

Colour- green-blue edge to a pink centre. Nose- red berries and cherries, with citrus. Palate- savoury, grapefruits, crisp acids, with red berries, a dried berry fruit finish.

Score- 16.57.

3. Jakkalsvlei Pinotage Rose 2022 (100% Pinotage)

Colour- light pink. Nose- jammy, plum, strawberry, doughy. Palate- crisp acids, plum, middle palate a bit lacking fruit, but nice plumy finish.

Score- 16.29.

4. Hidden Valley Hidden Treasure 2022 (72% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Shiraz)

Colour- light pink. Nose- cranberry, strawberry, red currant, cherry, candy floss, pomegranate. Palate- crisp acids, pomegranate, red cherry, savoury, with lingering red berry fruit finish.

Score- 16.89.

5. Zevenwacht 7even Rose 2022 (85% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon)

Colour- reddish pink. Nose- citrus, violets, Maraschino cherries, black cherries, full fruit. Palate- crisp acids, but soft, Maraschino cherries, lovely full fruit and red berry finish.

Score- 16.29.

6. Meerhof Premium Grenache 2020 (100% Grenache Noir)

Colour- copper pink. Nose- slightly chemical (Ketone like), strawberry. Palate- apples (Starkling), spice, strawberry, with a bitter finish, allot of people said nutty (Almonds?). This wine was not liked and many felt that it was oxidised. Many didn’t score and felt that the wine had become hot on its journey to Johannesburg.

Score- 15.6.

7. Laborie Rose 2021 (27% Mourvèdre, 19% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Pinotage, 14% Shiraz, 14% Grenache Noir, 5% Carignan, 4% Cinsault, 3% Viognier)

Colour- red pink, not as dark as Zevenwacht. Nose- citrus, strawberry, farmyard, honeyed, honey sugar bush flowers. Palate- crisp acids, but soft, honey, red berries and strawberries, with red cherry finish.

Score- 16.29.

8. Seven Oaks Rose 2021 (100% Pinotage)

Colour-light pink. Nose- savoury, with red and black berries, red cherry. Palate- crisp acids, Maraschino cherries, soft red berries, lingering to a Maraschino cherry finish, with lots of fruit.

Score- 16.71.

A very different tasting of wines that proved to be difficult to score against each other. We all learnt a great deal about this style of wine. The pity was the damaged Meerhof, which we will have to taste again. The top wine was the very gorgeous Hidden Valley, which everyone liked. And the amazing find, the Seven Oaks which was full of fruit and so easy to drink, awesome, thanks Seven Oaks! The three tied wines at 16.2857 show how difficult the scoring was. Thanks to everyone who attended (almost all wore pink or red) and made this the amazing tasting it that was!

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