Waterford Estate Rose-Mary: A symphony of Mediterranean elegance

By Jeremy Maarschalk

Thursday -  07 December 2023



The Waterford Rose-Mary, a crowd favourite and the perfect summer sipper is a wine showing this respect for the past with a foot planted in the future. 


Honouring the traditions of the past with a focus on the future is a pillar of the Waterford Estate winemaking ethos. Our commitment to producing exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of our Helderberg Mountain is only possible through dedicated understanding and respect for the winemaking history imbued into our beloved industry.


Our Blanc de Noir harmoniously blends the Mediterranean varietals of Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Sangiovese, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Grenache, Merlot, and Tempranillo to form a wine characterised by a blush almost rose gold hue, and a delightful nose of citrus blossom, apricot, and fresh cherry.


With eleven red grape varietals to choose from, the Waterford Estate cellar team chose to use Mediterranean varietals for the Rose-Mary. This is a testament to our winemaking team's understanding of our varietals and the character they craft in our wines. By utilising these cultivars the wine shows a vibrant fruit profile and fresh acidity serving to balance the palate. 



The 2023 vintage presented a drier winter compared to the previous year, with approximately 100mm less rainfall. A swift transition from winter to warmer temperatures set the stage for a great growing season. Early warmth and dry conditions gave way to a cooler mid-season, marked by a few showers. These mid-season rains provided relief and prepared the vineyards for the coming peak of summer. The overall coolness extended the hang time of the grape bunches, allowing for gradual ripening, which not only enhanced texture and cultivar expression but also resulted in wines with vibrant acidity and lower alcohol content.


With eight of the nine varietals used in the Rose-Mary blend being grown on Waterford Estate, the undeniable quality of the fruit shines strong in the wines’ quality. Our hands-on approach to viticulture allows the team to nurture the growing conditions, ensuring that the grapes reach their full potential before the harvest. An important factor in this nurturing is the preharvest bunch thinning process, in which the team removes about ten percent of the vineyard's potential yield. This is done to ensure that the berries left on the vineyard receive exceptional nutrient flow allowing optimal ripeness and concentration in the ripened bunches. These grapes that have been removed from the vineyard hold the first secret to our exceptional Blanc de Noir, the lower sugar content and sour taste are an integral component in the wine's low alcohol and vibrant acidity. With only three hours of skin contact, solely in the press, the wine turns its trademark blush colour, gaining all of the needed skin character.


The winemaking process of the Rose-Mary involves whole-bunch pressing, a technique that plays a crucial role in shaping the wine's unique characteristics. Whole-bunch pressing involves pressing the grape bunches without destemming, resulting in the extraction of juice from the entire grape bunch, including stems. Firstly, whole bunch pressing enhances the aromatic complexity of the wine with the grape stems containing aromatic compounds that contribute to the nose of the wine. Secondly, whole-buning pressing influences the texture and structure of the wineThe extraction of juice from intact grape clusters, including stems, can lead to a gentle extraction of tannins. This results in the wine showing an integrated structure and texture, contributing to the delicate yet intricate mouthfeel and a well-balanced finish.


Furthermore, whole-bunch pressing can impart a subtle herbal and spicy character to the wine, complementing the vibrant fruit notes from the Mediterranean varietals. This nuanced interplay of flavours and aromas creates a wine that is not only refreshing but also complex and engaging.


The result is a wine that captures the essence of southern Provence rosés, characterised by their low alcohol content, making it an approachable and easy-drinking choice for all wine enthusiasts.


The summer season is here and there is no better way to escape the heat than enjoying a crisp glass of Waterford Rose-Mary.


We are proud to announce that the Rose-Mary won 92 points and came in the top 10 at the Prescient Rosé Report Top 10 by Winemag.co.za.


The Rose-Mary also won Gold at the Rosé Rocks Awards earlier this year.


Get your case today via the link below: 


https://www.waterfordestate.co.za/products/waterford-rose-mary


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