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Featured Reviews

Matawhero ‘First Sun’ Gisborne Rosé 2018

02 August,2018

Rosé wines are ‘hot’ if you are a retailer or ‘cool’ if you are a consumer, but the labels on all counts can be interchanged. The Rosé category has seen an incredible growth, and along with it are an increasing number of rosé wines made specifically, rather than as leftover wine from red table wine production. This usually involves varieties that are deemed to give the desirable fruit flavour profiles, from selected parts of a vineyard, picked early and cool-fermented to retain freshness. There are producers who take alternative paths, some with success. Very good rosé can be made from the bled-off juice from fermenting red wine – saignee – but the purist method is the have the grapes go direct to press. A limited amount of skin contact gives colour, flavour and phenolics, and the degree of extraction is subject to many variables.

Here, I review the Matawhero ‘First Sun’ Gisborne Rosé 2018 which employs both saignee and direct crushing and destemming. It is named after the phenomenon of Gisborne being the first place in New Zealand to see the sunrise, and that the country is the first in the world to greet the new day. The bottle I have reviewed is in a 1.5 Litre magnum size, deemed ideal by many rosé drinkers wishing to share the joy.


Matawhero ‘First Sun’ ‘Single Vineyard’ Gisborne Rosé 2018

Rose from New Zealand – Gisborne


Bright, pale pink colour with slight purple hues, lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and taut with fragrant aromas of strawberries and cream with a subtle amalgam of red florals, raspberry elements and a hint of confectionary. This has good depth and proportion and possesses an almost textural, mouthwatering aspect. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is richly sweet and vibrantly fruited with flavours of strawberries and raspberries, along with lifted notes of red florals and confectionary. The fruit forms a firm, deep core with good concentration, and is balanced by fine, thirst-quenching phenolic textures and fresh, lacy, balanced acidity. The flavours carry with good linearity to a dry, mouthwatering finish with a little grip. This is a vibrantly rich dry rosé with strawberry and raspberry fruit on a finely concentrated, thirst-quenching palate with good length. Merlot fruit from the ‘Briant’s’ Patutahi vineyard, half the juice bled from the normal Merlot fermentation and half going direct to press, cool-fermented to 12.9% alc. and 4.13 g/L RS. (1.5 Litre) 18.5/20 Aug 2018 RRP $39.99

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