Learn all about Rosé wine

As the weather begins to warm, our ever popular Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé takes center stage. We asked cellar master Charl Coetzee to share some of his thoughts on this much-loved pink drink.

  • Rosé is often perceived as a drink only for women, but I enjoy a good rosé just as much as a white wine. With our mild winters here in the winelands, I will even open a bottle for a braai on a sunny winter’s day.
  • Don’t underestimate the complexity and pairing power of a good rosé. Rosé wines can vary widely in colour, intensity and sweetness and can be made with almost any red grape.
  • The most popular rosés have the crispness of a white wine combined with the fruity richness of a red.
  • Rosé made from Mourvèdre brings to mind Southern France. We use this French varietal for Babylonstoren’s Rosé, but the wine is crafted right here in the Cape Winelands. The result? A fuller and rounder Rosé with a lovely, floral character. Mourvèdre as varietal delivers large grapes, bringing the perfect ratio between grape skin and the flesh of the grape.
  • Rosé is made in a similar way to red wine. The longer the grape skins are left in contact with the juice, the darker the colour of the finished rosé, and the more it will take on the characteristics of the red wine. Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé is kept on the skins for a maximum of three hours to ensure the salmon colour. This can also vary from a dry year (when the colour of the grape berry is more intense) to a year with ample rain (when the colour would be less intense and more time on the skins would be required).
  • Red wine ferments on the skins for 10 to 14 days and is pressed after fermentation. Rosé is kept on the skins prior to fermentation, then pressed, and the clear pink juice is fermented.
  • The colour is not an indication of the sweetness of the wine. It can, however, tell you more about the style. Paler hues can indicate a wine that’s lighter in body with more subtle aromas, and darker rosés tend to have more body and more intense aromas and flavours. The tannins in the grape skin is what contributes to this characteristic.
  • Fresh is best. Generally, rosé does not get better with time. It is best enjoyed in the first 18 months after bottling.