Looking for the best English Rosés to try this spring? Here’s our top 5.
The UK loves rosé. Long gone is the era when Brits considered rosé wines to be suitable only for lunchtime drinking on holiday. Nowadays we’ll find any excuse to crack open a bottle come sunshine, rain, hail or snow.
It’s not just changing tastes; winemakers are giving their rosé wines much more attention too. Making rosé is no longer seen merely as a convenient way of generating some quick cash while more ‘serious’ wines are ageing in barrels. Many of the best English winemakers are also taking rosé more seriously, and there is now a huge range of quality rosés being produced, from crisp, pale, Provence-style wines, up to the most deeply-hued foodie rosés.
With so many different wines to choose from, Marasby has picked five of the best English rosés to try this spring, with a range of styles and price points to please every palate.
1. Folc Rosé 2021
Folc is one of the most ‘Provence-style’ English rosés in our selection – and quite deliberately so. Founders Elisha Rai and Tom Cannon started Folc in 2019, with a vision to bring the accessibility and easy-drinking vibes of southern French rosés to the south of England. Enjoy Folc Rosé by itself as an aperitif, in good company.
Taste: Light, fresh, dry and elegant, with gentle aromas of ripe peaches and red berries. In the mouth Folc is crisp, vibrant and moreish, with hints of elderflower cordial and zesty lime.
Buy: £15.99 Folc
2. Artelium Pinot Noir Rosé 2021
Artelium’s Pinot Noir Rosé is 100% estate grown in their East Sussex vineyard, and is bottled in ‘wild glass’ – made from 100% recycled material. Artelium is one of the most creative wine estates in Sussex, investing in art and design as much as in grapes and wine, so a visit to Artelium’s beautiful tasting room is a feast for all the senses.
Taste: Aromas of red berries, rhubarb, and vanilla custard. Dry, crisp and freshly vibrant in the mouth, with delicate flavours of strawberries and raspberries, and a long, lemony finish.
Buy: £23 Artelium
3. Black Chalk Dancer in Pink Rosé 2021
The Black Chalk team are led by Jacob Leadley, former winemaker at Hattingley Valley, and the experience shows. We love this pale-pink, delicate and elegant Hampshire rosé, made from a blend of Pinot Noir, Pinot Précoce and Pinot Gris. Dancer in Pink’s beautifully-designed label won’t look out of place on even the most stylish, foodie dining tables.
Taste: Pretty pale pink with aromas of spring cherry blossom and seasonal English strawberries. In the mouth Dancer in Pink is dry, crisp, and full of Hampshire’s characteristic chalky minerality.
Buy: £19 Black Chalk
4. Off The Line Hip Rosé 2021
Off The Line Vineyard is one of the few wine specialist rosé producers in the UK, growing Pinot noir, Regent, Dornfelder and Rondo in their East Sussex vineyard solely to make rosé wines. Founders Kristina and Ann-Marie have a consciously ethical approach to winemaking, and their 32 acre site is abundantly biodiverse, with natural woodland as well as vineyards. Their Hip Rosé is made just from Pinot Noir fruit.
Taste: Provencal-style, with elegantly pale pink colour, delicately floral aromas and flavours of peach melba and leafy redcurrant.
5. Balfour Estate Hush Heath Mary Rose 2020
Balfour Estate’s Hush Heath Mary Rose is definitely at the ‘serious foodie wine’ end of the rosé spectrum. At £40 per bottle, it perhaps has ambitions to compete with top-end French rosés like Garrus and Clos du Temple, yet these will cost you well over £100 per bottle. Made by Owen Elias, acknowledged as one of England’s best still wine winemakers, it is rose gold in colour, beautifully ripe, complex and layered.
Taste: Super-ripe aromas of strawberry compôte, with deep, rich flavours of summer fruit pudding, a hint of cherry balsamic coulis, and a succulent, rounded mouthfeel. Pair with full-flavoured, creamy English cheeses like Baron Bigod or Stinking Bishop.
Buy: £40 Balfour Winery
And finally …
At the time of writing all our recommended English and Welsh rosés are available via recommended stockists, but like many of our wines are made in small quantities and may sell out, so don’t delay.
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