The roses have come early this year. Usually the blooms come in November but the Dublin Bay climber flowered this week. It's the first rose of summer, only it is still early Spring. It coincided with my first taste of a Rosé wine, only this wasn't any ordinary Rosé - this was a bubbly.
Deutz Marlborough Cuvée Rosé NV is a pretty smelling wine with delicate aromas of strawberry that lead into an crisp, off-dry palate with flavours of strawberry and tart cherry with a savoury, bready backbone and a ripe, toasty finish. Beautifully fresh with good acidity, the sweetness is balanced and the finish is long.
It has such a delicate pink colour I was urged to go through my mineral books and old mineral magazines to find a match. I found it on the cover of the Mineralogical Record, Vol 2., No. 1 where a picture of a rare gemmy mineral called 'Ancylite' graced the cover. Then again it could be a pale pink beryl or even a pale pink fluorite. But for most us this beautiful colour is more akin to pale pink watermelon.
Deutz Marlborough Cuvée Rosé NV is made in the traditional Champagne method from predominantly pinot noir grapes with a small portion of chardonnay. The grapes were harvested from the Kaituna Vineyard in Marlborough and transported to the Brancott Winery where they were whole bunch-pressed in the Coquard press to extract the juice in the most gentle of ways. With no skin contact to the juice, there was no colour from the pinot noir skins. So to achieve the colour, a dash of red wine liqueur was added at disgorgement after the bottle fermented wine had matured for two years on its yeast lees.
Deutz is a well-known Champagne House but they have invested in Marlborough because of the potential for fantastic sparkling wines. When you taste this delicious Rosé, you know they made the right decision.
Deutz Marlborough Cuvée Rosé NV carries 12% alcohol by volume and has 16 grams of residual sugar. While it is delicious on its own as an aperitif, try with something savoury if you find the sweetness a little overpowering. I had nothing too grand, just some smoked salmon on some mini sesameal biscuits. It worked a treat.
You can find this wine in selected restaurants and at fine wine retailers. Expect to pay around $34.95 in retail - obviously it will cost more in restaurants - but it looks and tastes so gorgeous it will be worth it.
© Sue Courtney
2 October 2005