In the October issue of National Liquor News, our panel sipped and swirled their way through a summer favourite: Rosé.

It is said that the first wines ever made were rosé, because some of the original grape crushing and winemaking techniques squeezed the colour from the skin of grapes moreso than modern techniques. These days, the colour largely depends on how long the grape skins are left in during production.

The rosé category is an important one for retailers right now in the lead up to summer and ‘peak pink time.’ But with almost all of the wine regions in the world producing rosé, it may be daunting to know where to start with the category.

The National Liquor News tasting panel hopes to help with that, having tasted over 80 bottles of rosé and scoring the wines across three price brackets.

Below is a taste of some of the highest scoring wines from these brackets and you can find the full selection of the highest scored wines in the October issue of National Liquor Newswhich is available online here.

The Top Scoring Wines



2018 Château de l’Escarelle Jardin Des Secrets Rosé (94 points)

Region: Provence, France

Distributed by: Déjà Vu Wine Co.

“Pale salmon colour. Vibrant and citrusy on the palate. Lingering finish.” – Emma Fogarty



2019 Stoneleigh Pinot Noir Rosé (93 points)

Region: Marlborough, New Zealand

Distributed by: Pernod Ricard Australia

“A good food wine with great balance of flavour, fine soft tannin and acid on the lingering finish.” – Christine Ricketts



2020 Carillion Expressions Pinot Rosé (93 points)

Region: Wrattonbully/Orange

Distributed by: Free Run Distributors

“This has that Turkish Delight character on the nose that I love in rosé. Palate is tight and driven.” – Mark Bradstreet



2019 Grenache Wizardry Grenache Rosé (93 points)

Region: Heathcote

Distributed by: De Bortoli Wines

“A very classy dry style with enough going on to maintain interest.” – Charlie Simpson



2020 Beresford Rosé (93 points)

Region: McLaren Vale

Distributed by: VOK Beverages

“I’d make this my hot summer’s day rosé.” – Christine Ricketts


2019 Vinoque Nebbiolo Rosé (92 points)

Region: Yarra Valley

Distributed by: De Bortoli Wines

“Zippy into minerality. Well integrated acid. More texture than fruit. Super pale. Classy!” – David Messum



2020 Audrey Wilkinson Rosé (91 points)

Region: Hunter Valley

Distributed by: Agnew Wines

“Light yet complex – full of flavour and balance. Acidity is there but just enough to hold everything together.” – Andy Milne



2019 Elbourne Jours D’éte Rosé (89 points)

Region: Hunter Valley

Distributed by: Elbourne Wines

“Dry, balancing acid. Nice balance of confectionary and red fruits. Long finish. Very drinkable.” – Christine Ricketts

The Panel

  • Christine Ricketts, Wine Educator, Endeavour Group
  • Andrew Stubbs, Manager, Vine Wine
  • Andy Milne, Brand Manager, SouthTrade International
  • Salvatore Margiotta, State Sales Manager, NSW & ACT, Delegat Limited
  • Emma Fogarty, Senior Brand Manager, SouthTrade International
  • Mark Bradstreet, Key Account Manager, Joval Wine Group
  • David Messum, Director, Just the Drop
  • Charlie Simpson, General Manager, Virtuos Vine

Judges Comments

“There was a surprising amount of variety among the styles – good to see more dry wines and a move away from sticky sweet. Many managed to achieve bright effervescence while remaining refined.” – Emma Fogarty, Senior Brand Manager, SouthTrade International

“Colours seem to be getting lighter and lighter, more reminiscent of a blush than rosé.” – Andy Milne, Brand Manager, SouthTrade International

Editor’s Picks

  • 89 Chateau de l’Escarelle Palm Rosé 2019, Provence, France (Déjà Vu Wine Co.)
  • 89 Petaluma Dry Rosé 2019, Coonawarra (Accolade Wines)
  • 88 Marrenon Petula Luberon Rosé 2018, Luberon, France (Star Beverages)
  • 88 Feudo Arancio Tinchite Rosé 2019, Sicily, Italy (Single Vineyard Sellers)

Food Pairing

  • “It’s a whole world! Salads and fresh seafood, to sliced meats, and some drier styles want cheese.” – Charlie Simpson
  • “The best pairing for a good rosé is a group of friends and a sunny spring afternoon.” – Mark Bradstreet
  • “My favourites are chargrilled octopus or a plate of charcuterie.” – David Messum
  • “Sweet and sour Asian inspired dishes or a yummy custard fruit tart.” – Christine Ricketts

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tasting in our online magazine!

Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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