Capital Wines ‘The Abstainer’ Rosé (Canberra district)
12.5%, Screwcap, $18
Apparently it’s not cool for rosé to be bright red/pink anymore, with the (well intentioned) Rosé Revolution imploring people to drink the pale stuff over these more colourful examples. Personally, I don’t think that colour is all that relevant (and certainly not linked to quality), but I can understand the backlash against the sort of confected styles that are the norm.
This Cabernet Franc (and Merlot) based rosé from Capital Wines fits into the brightly coloured end of the pink wine spectrum, though happily steers well clear of confected, residual sugar backed flavours. In fact, it starts with a nose that is actually a little sappy, with some varietal Cabernet Franc and a distinct lack of sweetness kicking it all off. The palate too is quite carefully balanced, with a push of rose water and musk stick flavoured fruit carried along by some phenolic dryness through the back end (which helps keep it dry, if just a tad too firm).
The net result then is a well made, dry and faintly herbal style of rosé that belies it’s pinkness to look reasonably grown up (if still playful). It’s a little too firm through the back end for mine, but no questioning the clever winemaking and appeal. Good. 16.7/89