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edited by Sue Courtney
e-mail address: winetaster@clear.net.nz

Wine of the Week for week ending 25 November 2001
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Forrest Estate Rosť 2001
Marlborough, New Zealand

It happens the 3rd Thursday of November every year - a big fuss is made of Beaujolais Nouveau - the first wine of the new vintage. But for us in New Zealand it is can be hard to comprehend what all the fuss is about - for we've been drinking the wines of the 'new vintage' for several months now. Our first wine from 2001 was released in May and by September, when the grapes harvest commenced in the Beaujolais region of France, we'd been enjoying many fine new vintage wines.

The Into Wine website says that Beaujolais Nouveau is not to be taken seriously, it's a wine to drink while waiting for the better wines to arrive. But it seems like a good marketing phenomenon and people have plenty of fun.

Forrest Rose 2001 label If you do like light fruity reds, then I suggest a New Zealand rosť such as my selection for this week's wine of the week - the Forrest Estate Rosť 2001. There's nothing frivolous about this wine, however.

The colour gives the wine its name - the delightful colour of lightly pressed red grapes. Made from a blend of cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot and shiraz it has spent just enough time on the skins to extract a rosy pink hue that's the crystal clear colour of rose water.

It's full of flavour, spicy at first with an oily texture and a touch of herbs, then to the fore are fruit flavours of strawberry, cherry, peach and the yellow-fleshed plums with dark red skins that come out at Christmas time in Auckland, plus underlying raspberry, blackberry and white pepper.

It's a juicy wine that's fairly dry with good palate weight and a long full finish. It's just as serious as a riesling or sauvignon blanc - the only difference it is made from red grapes. Red wines get their colour from their skins. If you peel a grape you will find that the flesh is clear with a lemon or slightly green tinge. So a rosť wine has spent from a few hours to perhaps a couple of days to extract the gorgeous colour.

People think of Rosť wine as summer and sun, but I'm happy to drink this wine any time of the day. Right now I can imagine it with a fillet of snapper or a bowl of strawberries. Better still, macerate the strawberries in the wine.

Order online at www.forrest.co.nz where it will cost you NZ$15 a bottle plus freight, or check with retailers of fine New Zealand wine. Forrest Estate Wines are exported to selected overseas markets.


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E-mail me: winetaster@clear.net.nz