Isabel Marlborough Rosé 2017 -2 $25 ★★★★★



Stuff Limited (NZ)


VIBRANTLY COLOURED, this pinot noir-based rosé welcomes you in with light floral and strawberry scents. It is lively and juicy in the mouth, well served by refreshing acidity, and runs tight lines. There is an attractive touch of fruit sweetness mid-palate, yet the finish is long and dry. It is a style that has an easy charm and would give pleasure on its own, but is also very food compatible. It would work beautifully with salmon and salsa verde. A ROSÉ REVIVAL There’s a rebuild happening at Isabel Estate, and its chief architect is Jeremy McKenzie. The former Villa Maria senior winemaker came on board as general manager-chief winemaker at Isabel after the label was bought in 2014 by corporate entity Pinnacle Drinks (NZ). McKenzie knew the potential was there – Isabel was an early Marlborough success story on an excellent site – and is quietly pleased with the comeback story so far. “It has been a great project. We’ve been slowly working away on the vineyard and the wine styles. Now the wines are ready, we’re entering shows and getting some credibility back for the label. And this is great… I’ve won a few awards before but never a Cuisine ‘top wine’.” McKenzie set out to make a ‘premium’ rosé in 2017, dedicating a section of his pinot noir vines specifically for the purpose. “For me, making rosé is like making white wine – it’s about vibrant fruit, brightness and freshness. I like a touch of sweetness, but it has to be balanced by crunchy acidity. That gives the wine tension, drive and length.” 2 / Forrest Rosé 2017 (Marlborough) ★★★★★ -2 $22 “Delightful,” enthused Cameron Douglas. This lilac-tinted wine is an off-dry style where the attractive, concentrated fruit and chalky texture keep the sweetness in check. Ripe raspberry and red cherry notes, laced with a zesty herbal twist, are wrapped in a gentle texture. A wellmade rosé that should sell out fast. 3 / Whitehaven Marlborough Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 ★★★★ -2 $22.90 A worthy successor to Whitehaven’s much-awarded 2016 rosé, this wine’s delicate wildflower aromatics are immediately enticing. In the mouth it is precise and fresh, opening with a touch of sweetness but finishing dry. Nothing is too overt or out of place – this is a fine example of a wine that is beautifully balanced. 4 / Rapaura Springs Reserve Marlborough Pinot Rosé 2017 ★★★★ -2 $19 Pale salmon in colour, this rosé creeps up quietly on you. Gentle, fresh scents presage a bright, focused mouthful offering red berry notes and a herbal riff. It’s dry and crisp, with fine acidity and a textural flintiness steering it to a long finish. It would be an excellent companion for a Provençal fish soup. 5 / Ti Point Hawke’s Bay Ruby Rosé 2017 ★★★★ -2 $19 Pretty in the glass, and pretty good to drink as well. This merlot-based charmer from the Bay delivers peach, apricot and ripe berry flavours. The texture is disarmingly soft and the style is offdry. “It has charm and sophistication,” noted John Belsham. It would make a popular summer evening aperitif. Archangel Lace Rosé 2017 (Central Otago) ★★★★ -2 $27 Domain Road Central Otago Bannockburn Pinot Noir Rosé 2016 ★★★★ - 2 $25 Judge Rock Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 (Central Otago) ★★★★ - 2 $25 Jules Taylor OTQ Single Vineyard Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 (Marlborough) ★★★★ -2 $35 Left Field Hawke’s Bay Rosé 2017 ★★★★ - 2 $18 Mud House Sub Region Series Burleigh Pinot Noir Rosé 2017 (Marlborough) ★★★★ - 2 $20 The Doctors’ Rosé 2017 (Marlborough) ★★★★ - 2 $22 Two Rivers Isle of Beauty Rosé 2017 (Marlborough) ★★★★ - 2 $24 Villa Maria Private Bin Lighter Rosé 2017 (Hawke’s Bay) ★★★★ - 2 $16 Villa Maria Private Bin Lightly Sparkling Rosé 2017 (Hawke’s Bay) ★★★★ - 2 $16 Wooing Tree Rosé 2017 (Central Otago) ★★★★ - 2 $27