Whisper it quietly, but rumour has it that the summer of 2021 might be just around the corner – and you better believe it’s set to be one of the finest in living memory. After 18 months of protracted lockdowns, working from home, and prolonged exposure to Netflix, it’s time to head out into the great wide world. But a vintage summer needs an extra-special beverage to accompany the sunshine and good times. Enter: rosé. Specifically, mourvèdre rosé by esteemed South African winemaker Babylonstoren.
The sales of rosé have exploded in recent years thanks to both the increasing overall quality of the product, and also a large majority of drinkers waking up to the merits of this wonderfully elegant drink: the perfect refreshment for the summer months. It’s funny, not much more than a decade ago, the rosé sector was dominated by semi-sweet ‘blush’ wines from California. Now, of course, it’s a wine where premium products reign supreme – from the iconic Provençal rosé to the sun-kissed rosés of South Africa’s Cape Winelands.
Babylonstoren is one such vineyard from the esteemed Cape Winelands. Located in a historic Cape Dutch farm, the winery boasts one of the best preserved plaaswerwe (farmyards) in the Cape, dating back to 1692. Beloved for its immaculate gardens, Babylonstoren features eight acres of magnificent flora and fauna, including fruit, berries, bees for pollinating, indigenous plants, fragrant lawns, a prickly pear maze, a clivia tunnel and a plethora of trees of historical and botanical import. It’s no wonder the wine itself celebrates this biodiversity in each glass.
Babylonstoren has been chosen as the Official Rosé of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021
The farm sits at the heart of the wine country, with Simonsberg as its backdrop and possibly the finest terroir in the Cape, while the wines themselves are produced in a state-of-the-art winery and are made to showcase the climate where its grapes are grown. There are approximately 160 hectares (395 acres) under vine with many different grape varieties enjoying the fertile land, however Babylonstoren’s mourvèdre rosé is set to be this summer’s must-have glass.
Harvested at the height of the South African summer in February and best enjoyed within 18 months of bottling, the Babylonstoren Mourvèdre Rosé is the colour of a soft sunrise. With raspberries and rose petals on the nose and strawberry yoghurt and creamy flavours of rhubarb on the palate, there’s a fresh acidity to this wine that lingers long in the mouth. Served chilled, this is a great wine for fish dishes, especially salmon and trout, or as a accompaniment to a picnic.
As a dry and elegant wine that embodies flowers, gardens and the great outdoors, it’s no wonder Babylonstoren has been chosen as the Official Rosé of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2021. Each year, Babylonstoren will be releasing the new vintage of its mourvèdre rosé to coincide with the start of Britain’s favourite gardening showcase. It’s a match made in heaven: just like the beautiful displays, this charming rosé is best enjoyed with the sun on your back, shades on your face, and in good company. Cheers!