My experiences of oaked rosés made here in Portugal have not been good up until now. The few attempts at creating something similar to the premium rosés of Provence which do tend to spend some time in oak have not impressed me.
However I have sampled some of the stunning oaked rosés from France, notably from Chateau d’Esclans (of Whispering Angel fame), such as the eye-wateringly expensive Garrus costing around 100 euros a bottle and the more affordable Les Clans, two wines that prove beyond doubt that oak and rosé can work together.
My problem until now with such attempts here in Portugal has been over-oaking, but that is certainly not the case with this rosé from Quinta do Rol. I have yet to try a wine from this producer that does not impress me and they do (arguably) produce Portugal’s best Pinot Noir red, the 2009 vintage of which is still on the market.
Costing a little over 20 euros in shops, this is one of the more expensive Portuguese rosés out there, but the quality is easily comparable to premium level Provence rosés costing considerably more, so it is fairly priced.
What most impressed me about this wine was the subtlety of the bouquet with gentle hints of red fruits and a slight candied note on the nose, not a hint of oak.
In the mouth the wine has good volume and lively acidity with layers of flavours and a lingering finish. Without a doubt, this is one of the best Portuguese rosés, an excellent partner for grilled prawns or lobster.
By Patrick Stuart