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ost rosé is simple stu� .
Light and unchallenging,
it's designed to be sipped
without much of a second
thought; and there's nothing
wrong with that. But
sometimes you want a wine with a stronger
personality; one to surprise, challenge or
amaze. Many wine lovers look to reds or
whites to ful l this role, but there are plenty
of raucous rosés on the fringes to keep even
the most demanding drinker entertained.
A winning approach for sni ng out more
interesting rosés is to try lesser-known grape
varieties or regions. The 2012 Phaedra
Amyntiaon Xynomavro (£8.99, Waitrose)
from the Kir-Yianni estate in Macedonia,
northern Greece, scores on both counts.
Xynomavro is a local grape usually used to
make reds, but here it's blended with Syrah
to striking e� ect. Many pink wines promise
a lot with their colour but fail to deliver on
taste; this neon-pink example, however, is
packed with vivid raspberry avours and
has a satisfyingly dry, herbal nish.
You may think of rosé as an aperitif, but
some work with food brilliantly. The 2012
Proprietà Sperino 'Rosa del Rosa' (£14.99,
Wine Works) from Piedmont in northern
Italy is thrilling, but almost too intense to
drink by itself. It's dry and savoury with a
bright, redcurrant-like acidity that makes it
particularly refreshing with dishes like pork or
oily sh. It's made from Nebbiolo (the Barolo
grape) by a hugely exciting estate that's
destined for greatness.
Another rosé that works well with food
- even red meat - is Bandol rosé from the
south of France. Reds can feel heavy on a
hot day, but the robust texture of a cool
Bandol rosé can handle intense avours
while refreshing you at the same time. 2012
Domaine de Terrebrune Rosé (£22.50, Berry
Bros Rudd) is an excellent example based
mostly on Mourvèdre grapes grown on
terraces overlooking the sea. To begin
with, it smells demure, all strawberry
sherbet and a whi� of talc. But once
in your mouth, it exes its muscles.
It has a power rarely found in rosés,
but without heaviness. Most rosé
Think that rosé is a harmless qua� er?
Think again - there's a new breed of
pink wines with attitude WORDS MATT WALLS