What do you get when you cross two wine categories that have enjoyed stratospheric success? Even greater success, surely? Prosecco and rosé wine have been such a hit, separately, with consumers, that it seems strange the category of rosé Prosecco has only just launched to market.
Though it’s long been in the pipeline, the production of Prosecco DOC rosé was only approved by the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Forestry in May 2020, and by EU officials in late October. By the time the category was officially launched, to great fanfare, in late November, 84 wineries had produced more than 12 million bottles of 2019 vintage Prosecco rosé.
DOC rules state that Prosecco rosé may include between 10% and 15% Pinot Noir alongside Prosecco’s signature Glera grape. Wines must undergo secondary fermentation for at least 60 days before they can be released, and must be ‘millesimato’ (meaning that a minimum of 85% of the grapes must come from the vintage stated on the label). Wines can be classified as either (from the driest) brut nature, extra brut, brut or extra dry, with no sweet version allowed. The vast majority of wines are brut (0-12g/L residual sugar, but in practice, 6-12g/L) or extra dry (12-17g/L).
It is estimated that between 40m and 50m bottles of the 2020 vintage will be made – accounting for around 10% of Prosecco DOC production – with around 80% of this destined for export markets, according to the regional wine council, the Consorzio Tutela Prosecco DOC. The 2020 vintage wines are set to be released from this month (January 2021), the Consorzio said.
No DOCG Prosecco rosé category is planned.
14 Prosecco rosé wines to try
These are generally wines to be enjoyed young, while fresh and full of primary fruit flavours. Of the 17 samples that we tasted that have UK retail availability, 14 were made in a brut style, with three vinified as extra dry (confusingly sweeter than brut). These were our favourites: