Sparkling roses tend to share certain elements with their white brethren; citrusy notes, yeast, toast, perhaps a touch of caramel, but at their best they add in layers of red berried fruit. This not only makes for a wine that is certainly out of the ordinary, and something special, but also makes for a wine that more often than not is better suited to pairing with the cold weather nibbles we so often pair sparkling wine with during the holidays. I’m not talking about caviar and salmon, but rather pate, cheese and in particular, the cured meats that adorn so many party platters.
So break out of the sparkling wine box this year and try a rose on for size.
Sparkling Rose image via Shutterstock
NV Domaine Carneros by Taittinger Cuvee de la Pompadour Brut Rose 12% $35
Light, almost cranberry red fruits on the nose are layered over creamy basenotes and a grapefruit top note with light dusty, yeasty highlights. Fairly broad and dry in the mouth, with just a hint of sweetness. This is crisp with lovely and fairly intense red cherry and cranberry fruit in the mouth followed by a dry finish that is slightly astringent with hits of blood orange over strong raspberry fruit. Delicious stuff. 92pts
2009 Naveran Perles Roses Cava Cuvee Antonia Brut 12.5% $30
Floral, deeply yeasty and attractively evolved on the nose. This shows impressive complexity with notes of white fruit, fresh buttery toast, cinnamon sugar, white mushroom, cactus fruit and faint ripe herbs on the nose. Refined in the mouth with a bitter orange note on entry, followed by an almost peachy blush of orange fruit with hints of melon and light crabapple tones. The finish is long and subtle with a fine mineral base and low, almost bitter licorice base notes with light citrus fruits and hints of peach floating above. Sophisticated cava that is attractively light on the palate. 90pts
NV Il Mosnel Franciacorta Brut Rose Italy 12.5% $34
Rather creamy on the nose with fine raspberry, lemon cream, pine nut and rose petal aromas. Bubbles that are bit large marr the entry just a touch, otherwise this is dry and firm with a fine blend of sweetness, acidity and astringency. There’s lovely, creamy richness on the mid palate along with faint almond and mushroom notes that add complexity to the dry pear, apple and melon fruit flavors. This finishes with excellent length and a fine base of dried flowers and yeasty tones touched with a hint of brioche. 90pts
2011 Simonsig Kaapse Vonkel Brut Rose Stellenbosch SA 12% $20
Very creamy and dusty on the nose with earthy red berry fruit and a hint of honey. With a very luxurious mouthfeel, this slides across the palate with red berry and sweet green fruits all supported by bright and well-integrated acidity and a creamy texture. A bit spicy on the back end and through the finish which shows a little graham cracker, as well as some faint red berry blood orange fruit. Super elegant and rather sophisticated. 89pts
NV Gustave Lorentz Cremant d’Alsace Rose Brut 12% $25
This smells of sweet raspberries with hints of dried yeast, smoke, chalk and suggestions of candied lemon. With a rather fine mousse and bright acids, this has both breadth and height in the mouth, delivering open raspberry and boysenberry fruit that’s framed with gentle suggestions of citrus and faint herbs. The finish shows more sweetness, but in a sweet/sour way with a nice dusty, yeasty base note and solid length. Refreshing and fairly refined in a fruit driven style. 89pts