26 September 2023

A bone-dry style of Australian rosé

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By John Rozentals.

I’ve written before about dismissing the notion that pink rosé is a ‘girly’ drink.

Graeme Shaw: has produced a delicious dry rosé.

You only have to walk into just about any restaurant in the south of France during warmer months to see hoards of very masculine-looking blokes quaffing down the stuff — usually from carafes.

They’re just doing what comes naturally to them — drinking the wine that’s right for the climate and that goes well with the food they are washing down with it.

Thankfully, Australians are beginning to realise that most of them live in a climate, for at least much of the year, and pursue a lifestyle that ideally suits dry rosé.

Equally thankfully, many of the country’s winemakers are at last responding by producing this very gluggable wine style.

One of the latest to join the bus, or the boat — whichever — is Shaw Wines, located at Murrumbateman, near the national capital.

Their winemaker/proprietor Graeme Shaw sees it this way: “This wine has been in the planning stage for quite a while now. We were chasing 12.5ºBaume [grape ripeness] of bright, fresh and flavoursome fruit before we created our first — and what we think is the ideal — dry rosé.”

And so say all of us. Or at least all of us who really care about the drink we consume with our summery salads.


Shaw Wines 2017 Winemaker’s Selection Shiraz ($20): Ideal ripening conditions have created a red wine that we’re lucky to have in Australia at the price. It has ample varietal and regional mintiness, and plenty of mid-palate richness along with firm tannins and deftly handled oak. I’ve recommended this sort of red before as being the perfect match for classy pizza and I see no reason to change that assessment in this case.

Castle Rock Estate 2019 Skywalk Riesling ($20): Western Australia’s Great Southern region is definitely throwing out a challenge to more traditional South Australian areas with this prince of white varieties, and it’s easy to taste why. This dry white from Porongurup is refreshingly aromatic and zesty. Winemaker Rob Diletti has plenty of material to choose from and he’s chosen well. The wine is perfect with fresh oysters.


Shaw Wines 2019 Rosé ($20): I completely agree with Murrumbateman-based winemaker Graeme Shaw that this wine is delicious and right on the money. It’s based on shiraz and given just six hours of skin contact. This was enough to give the wine an attractive blush colour and plenty of varietal flavour — and some tannin. It has a distinct savoury edge, is completely dry and perfectly suited to our summer lifestyle.

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