Mateus Rosé may not be known by all modern wine drinkers, but most in the industry have heard of it, and many have tasted it, out of curiosity at least.
Mateus was once, during the 1970s, simply and arguably the most popular wine in the world.
It is even said the Queen of England enjoyed it!
Its distinctive bottle, and its modern (at the time) approach to wine clearly has been a major success story in the world of wine, that lives on to this day. Mateus is still broadly found all around the world, on supermarket shelves and in many restaurants. A staple for drinkers in search of something colorful and easy.
This Portuguese pink wine (and pink is the word here, perhaps more that rosé!) is known for being a thirst-quenching, complication-free, quite light and quite sweet a wine.
Connoisseurs can’t laugh loud-enough about it, while everyday-drinkers that have tried it may not have the most precise recollection of what it tastes like, but the majority won’t have the most horrible memories about it either.
As a brave and curious wine writer that I am, I thought I would do what very few critics have actually done because the wine is cheap and has been around for so long: formally tasting, reviewing, and rating Mateus Rosé.
What does Mateus Rosé taste like?
So yes, this Portuguese wine comes in a very bright and shiny PINK color, slightly salmon if you ask me, but with delicate purples hues to it which I think explain why it looks so bright and colorful!
The nose is actually quite restrained, and surprisingly closed at first. Yes perhaps I chilled it a little too much, but who wouldn’t in the heart of summer on a hot day in the South of France?
Delicate aromas of strawberry, perhaps blueberry as well, fresh and crisp berries at least come through and dominate the profile. Touches of subtle floral notes of elderflower give some elegance. A sulfuric smell however, like hot water spring sulfur, weigh down the smelling sensation.
The palate is soft and light, with some perceptible residual sugar but nothing too tiringly sweet. It’s well-balanced with a good aciditiy, a light and watery body. A wine that goes down well overall. Easy to drink, light and refreshing it is.
Flavors are fruity, strawberry lolly, pemogranate and hints of vegetal, like acacia leaves. It’s fruity and simple but not tasting too artificical in the end, less so than I was expecting at least.
The finish IS a little sticky though, and I regretted what appears to be a very high level of sulfites in this wine, making the mouthfeel heavier than it ought to for this type of wine. If you’re sensitive to sulfites, you will feel the headache grow on you at every sip as well!
Mateus Rosé is a well-made wine that respects the basic rules of what a wine should be, in a light and approachable style.
It’s balanced, with some sweetness, but matched by good-enough acidity. It tastes like natural fruit, flowers, and hints of spices.
More importantly, it’s refreshing, approachable and uncomplicated which is what it’s meant to be.
I personally could not get through much more than a glass, or perhaps too with some matching summery and tasty foods, because of the sulfites’ impact. If only the winemakers would find a way to lower this effect and add less SO2?
But hey! Certainly not a bad effort, and in my opinion a respectable wine that will satisfy cheerful aperitifs (appetizer parties) if you share the bottle with a few.
It’s got a relatively low-alcohol content as well, even for a rosé wine, with 11% abv, so this small glass you’ve enjoyed won’t hit your maximum intake too hard.