We often compare the color of red wine to red grapes, and the color of white wine to white grapes. But what about rosé wine? Get rid of the fact that it is the clever mixture of red wine and white wine, because its production is much more complex than that, and the color of rosé wine hides many secrets.
The origin of the pink color of rosé wine
The color of rosé wines simply comes from the red pigments contained in the skin of the black grapes used for winemaking. On the other hand, the intensity of the color, which varies from one bottle to another, depends above all on the method of manufacturing the rosé wine .
Light rosé wine: a direct pressing rosé wine
The more the skin of the black grape is in contact with the must, the more the wine takes on an intense color. The direct pressing winemaking technique is then the method which makes it possible to obtain a clear rosé wine , because the grape pigments have very little time to permeate the grape juice.
In fact, the grapes are immediately pressed, without any maceration step. And although the pressing is slow, it is insufficient to intensely color the must.
Direct-pressed rosé wines are therefore very clear, fresh and fruity, and should be drunk young.
Dark rosé wine: a rosé wine from saignée
Conversely, saignée is a method used by winemakers to make rosé wine which produces very colorful rosé wines . It consists of taking the juice from a maceration vat intended for red vinification before the end of fermentation. Thus, a few hours after placing in vats, the saignée wine is taken, then softened by malolactic fermentation, to give a rosé wine with a stronger color and more tannic character than by direct pressing.
The palette of rosé wine colors
Rosé wine, depending on its manufacturing technique, can take on a multitude of shades of color, from the palest to the most intense (like Bordeaux Clairet). Some oenologists claim to have more than 140 nuances. We then have rosé colors which relate to different elements:
- Fruits (raspberry, cherry, melon, lychee, apricot, etc.);
- Trees (prunus);
- Flowers (peony, rose petal, partridge’s eye, etc.);
- The animals (salmon)…
But we also find other more original colors, like onion skin.
Pale rosé wine: the big trend
A short decade ago, most rosé wines had a much more intense color than today. Over time, rosés are becoming lighter and lighter and winegrowers are increasingly using the direct pressing technique, in order to meet the demands of consumers, who associate the quality of the wine with the paleness of its color .
The rosé wines of Provence then stand out, thanks to their pale color, their freshness and their fruity aromas.
Good to know: while the majority of rosé wines are made from black grape varieties, some appellations blend black and white grape varieties vinified together .
The color of a rosé wine: a first choice indicator
If the wine bottle is transparent, it is to give the buyer the opportunity to evaluate the pink color of the color , because this can say a lot about the characteristics of the rosé wine.
Determine the age of wine according to its color
Generally speaking, red wine takes on garnet hues as it ages, and white wine darkens with time. If the color of the wine is then a good indicator for assessing the age of a red or white wine, it is the same for rosé wine. An intense rosé wine indicates good aging potential, while a light rosé wine is a wine to drink young.
Know the origin of wine according to its color
Although this rule is not universal, we can often determine the geographical origin of the vineyard according to the color of the rosé wine. It is rather the terroir and the grape variety used that will guide us to the wine region of a rosé . Thus, a rosé from the South-West is often an intense and fruity pink , while the rosé wine from Provence has more of a pale color, with aromas of flowers and fruits.
Estimate the taste of a rosé wine based on its color
Very often, a pale rosé wine has higher acidity than a colored rosé. In the same way, it will be less fatty, less sweet and less tannic. So many characteristics which are mainly explained by the specificity of the grape varieties used.
Faithful to Provençal winemaking traditions, the Berne estate produces a Provençal rosé wine with a pretty pale color and sweet fruity flavors. Experience the terroir by coming to taste one of our exceptional Provence wines.