2015 Two Rivers L’Ile de Beauté Rosé, Marlborough
I normally make a point of presenting wines with an original description, to protect my readers from marketing departments’ flowery and over-positive wine descriptions.
But hey! Here, the producer has had the good idea to make a simple straight-to-the-point comment on what the wine is about by himself. So what would be the point of paraphrasing !?!
So that’s what Two Rivers says about the New Zealand Rosé we’re tasting today, that summarizes what needs to be known about it:
“L’ile de Beauté (Ilse of Beauty) is the evocative name given to the French island of Corsica, located in the Mediterranean Sea. After three vintages in Corsica, winemaker David Clouston became passionate about producing fresh, pure and vibrant salmon coloured Rosé. Two Rivers L’ile de Beauté Rosé is Mediterranean in style using Pinot Noir grapes. Grapes grown specifically for Rosé production were sourced from a single vineyard in the Southern Valleys.
David Clouston – Winemaker”
For the context, it has to be said that Pinot Noir doesn’t normally grow anywhere near the Mediterranean sea in France, let alone the rather Southern and warm Corsica Island. It becomes interesting then to see (or taste) how the winemaker’s ambitions have been fulfilled in this wine.
So how good is this Mediterranean-style Pinot Noir Rosé?
The answer is in the tasting notes:
The color of this rosé wine is very pretty, as pretty as it gets. A bright slightly pale salmon color without much of the orange-grey hue some have, but rather with an honest pale pink.
With a very fruity nose, displaying notes of strawberry, grapefruit, grapes, pear, and banana, this wine is appetizing. It smells like a basket of freshly cut fruits, a fruit salad with something of a sweet lolly-like tone.
After such a nose evocative of sweetness, the wine surprise and feels drier than expected. Not that it’s dry and acidic, but dry just balanced with the right touch of almost imperceptible sweetness. Add some delicate tannins and a marked saltiness of the finish and you get a perfectly executed mouth-watering wine that calls for a second sip, and being paired with summery food.
Overall: a very good, long and perfectly balanced dry rosé. Fresh, savory, and fruity at the same time, it suggests it’s been made with care from quality Pinot Noir grapes.
More than a Southern-France or Corsica style, this Ile de Beauté Rosé recalls a delicate Sancerre rosé. But one has to admit both styles have similarities mainly coming from the way they are made: from grapes destined to produce rosé wine from the get go, and gently pressed, much like white wine.
Just like the wine is refreshing, it’s refreshing to see care so obviously put into making rosé wine.
When to drink?
Well now, or as soon as possible to enjoy the current freshness and finesse.
Match with Mediterranean appetizers (olives, anchovies, and the likes) or delicate entrées. It could go well with subtle seafood dishes as well. I imagine beurre blanc scallops, or grilled gently-seasoned snapper.
Wine Facts as per the back-label:
Vineyards: Drew Family Vineyards
Sub-Region: Southern Valleys [JM: of Marlborough that is]
Soil Type: Clay silt loam over river gravels
Harvest date: March 25, 2015
Pinot Noir Clones: 667, 777, and clone 5
Aging: 3 months on fine lees
Case production: 1000
Alcohol: 12.5% ABV
Find more info about the producer at tworivers.co.nz