We recently had a chat with Duane, the talented vintner behind Glandore Estate’s delightful Rosé, made entirely from Merlot grapes.


Creating Glandore Rosé is a mix of gut feeling and years of experience. Duane’s aim? Crafting a light, crisp wine, finessing overall aroma suitable to a variety of tastes. His love affair with Merlot Rosé started long ago on a visit to the Bordeaux wine region in France.   That first taste of Merlot Rosé, ripe with complexity and wild strawberry flavors inspired him to make his Rosé also with merlot also at its heart.  Worlds apart from the sweet, heavy Roses of the 80’s like Mateus, Duane’s modern take on this popular classic, is refreshing, yet still complex.


When we asked him what sets his Rosé apart from what you’d find at your local bottle shop, Duane pointed out that many people choose wine based on brand, packaging, bling, colour or price; completely overlooking quality. For him, your average bottle shop Rosé could end up being more of a trendy accessory than a true flavor experience.


Back in the 70s and 80s, Rose was a popular choice with Boomers – in fact, Mateaus Rose was the most popular wine in the world in the 1970s.  Duane recalls his first experience of the sickly-sweet bottle of Mateaus that his well-meaning parents presented him with as a celebration gift when he became a chef.  Although it left a bad taste in his mouth back then, thankfully he rediscovered a whole new world of Rosé later in life.


The interesting thing about Rosé is that there is no one grape variety that makes the best or most popular Rosé, no one colour or flavour profile that is above all others – rose truly is one of the most flexible, yet complex wines in a class of its own.


A few winemaking options can be used for Rosé wine, including bleeding of a portion of juice from a freshly crushed red ferment, known as Saignée. Making Rosé in the standard winemaking process is now more widespread than ever, giving greater control over style, colour and flavour profile. In fact, you can even make Rosé by just giving a white wine a squirt of red, (but who’s buying the Chardonnay – Shiraz Rosé, no matter how good or bad it is.)

“When making Glandore’s 100% Merlot Rosé there are a few factors we focus on with regards to colour: time on skins, how hard we press the grapes, and fining at the crushing stage. It’s a little bit of guess work and a lot of experience to hit that sweet spot.


Being so varied, Rosé is quite versatile in how you drink it.  A dry crips rose could accompany a spicy curry, a sweeter rose might be enjoyed after dinner, or a complex rose could be the perfect accompaniment to cheese on a summer afternoon.  If you’re not sure which style of Rosé will suit your palate, or which Rosé will best compliment your chosen dish, the best place to discover your new favourite wine is a Pokolbin cellar door.


So – what is Duane’s all-time favourite Rosé?

“In a perfect world I would be sitting in the sunshine, overlooking the water in the French Riviera, Domain Tempier, Bandol Rosé in hand, enjoying freshly caught prawns and a side of fermented chilli butter”.


While Duane’s is living it up in Europe, the Hunter Valley have some amazing Rosé’s and wonderful cellar doors ready to introduce you to them!  As Duane says, “there’s a Rosé for every occasion”, so we encourage you to head to the Around Hermitage Wine and Food trail and find your perfect Rosé.