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Wine of the Week for week ending 3 September 2006
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Wooing Tree Rose 2006
Central Otago, New Zealand

Signs that spring is near
- bright yellow daffodils dancing against a backdrop of lush green grass that is growing so fast it needs a mow
- dainty pink peach blossoms unfolding on an arm of a leafless peach tree, attracting tuis that bip-bip-bip-bip-bip in like a helicopter to suck up the nectar
- lambs gambolling in paddocks, using direct thrust like a harrier jet to jump over unseen objects
- waking up at 6.30am and finding that dawn has already arrived and as the sun comes up, the mist in the valley starts to dissipate
- the absence of mandarins in the market because the season has finished
- a proliferation of new vintage wines that only months ago were grapes on the vine
- unscrewing the cap on a bottle of Rosé

Well, it was a nice fine day, really warm for the end of August and actually hot if you were out of the breeze and as well as the visual signs, I could feel spring in the air. So a lightly chilled, refreshing Rosé was not a stupid idea at all.

The Rosé that I've chosen as the Wine of the Week not only tastes good, but it whisks me back to my fabulous South Island holiday last April when I actually stopped at the vineyard in Cromwell, Central Otago, where these grapes were grown. In fact, the grapes were still growing at the time.
I wanted to take photos because not only did the vineyard look rather attractive in all its colourful autumn splendour, the tree that sits smack in the middle of the vineyard has a story to tell. They call the tree the 'Wooing Tree' because it has long been popular with locals to woo their lovers. If only the tree could talk, what stories we would hear. But we'll just have to use our imagination.

Most winegrowers wouldn’t want a tree in the middle of their vines, but when Steve and Thea Farquharson developed their vineyard right across the road from the entrance to the town centre, this romantic landmark just couldn’t go. Now the rows of vines are lovers' lanes leading to the tree and while still a wooing place for lovers, it's become a popular place for weddings too.

Wooing Tree Rosé 2006 is pretty pale candy floss pink. There are gorgeous aromas of strawberry and cherry mingling with the winey fragrance then in the mouth it's rich in texture with just a touch of spritziness, juicy strawberry and raspberry fruit with red apple, a nuance of thyme, an earthy backbone and a floral finish. A beautifully balanced, vibrant, Rose, not too sweet and not too dry. Made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes that had only overnight contact with the skins to extract the delicate colour, it's crisp and fresh with great mouthfeel and length.

Wooing Tree Rosé 2006 is sealed with a screwcap (naturally), it carries 13.% alcohol by volume and costs $19.50 a bottle.

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© Sue Courtney
27 August 2006

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