Rosé grape varieties

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Generally speaking, rosé wines can be made from any red grapes. The most popular rosés, however, are made from the following grape varieties.

Image: Grenache © Christophe Grilhé, provided by Inter Rhône

Grenache

The light-coloured GRENACHE is a quintessentially Mediterranean red variety and as a result it often mingles the classic Mediterranean garrigue scents of thyme, fennel and rosemary with white pepper and its warming, raspberryish fruit flavours. It tends to be low in tannin and hence soft and supple and, at its apogee in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it takes on heady aromas and spicy, robust fruit flavours which can border on the raisined.

Zinfandel

In its pink incarnation, ZINFANDEL tends to be light, sweetish and bland. Take it seriously though and it produces powerfully-constructed, brambly, reds with raspberry and blackberry-like flavours and plenty of tannins and spice. It is believed to be the same grape, or virtually the same grape as southern Italy's primitivo, which is equally capable of producing heady, robustly spicy reds.

*Don’t be confused by “White Zinfandel”. The name of an off-dry to sweet rosé wine made in California. But Zinfandel itself is a red grape.

These grape varieties are also popular rosé grapes:

Cinsaut (red) -神索, Carignan (red) - 佳丽酿, Syrah/Shiraz (red) -西拉.

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