The War of the Rosés is Over - An Austrian Surprise

Posted by Joe Salamone

An Austrian Surprise
2011 Umathum Rosa
Runner Up, but Far from Second Best

Our yearly rosé bash, the War of the Rosés, ends with a vote and the crowning of a new champion.

This year, things got a bit complicated.

The year's winner won by just one vote. It also sold out the day of the event. Second place was a tie between two wines, Bagnol Cassis Rosé and Umathum Rosa.

So, after rigorous debate, we've decided to go with the staff favorite and one of the great surprises of this rosé season: Umathum's Rosa.

Who would have thought a trio of rather esoteric Austrian grapes (Zweigelt, Blaufränkisch and St. Laurent) could make such a compelling, such an interesting, such a delicious rosé?

How much does it say that such an underdog almost won the entire event? It says a lot - this wine is gooooooooood.

There's an elegance, a delicate brambly spice, a snappy freshness that makes the Rosa easy to drink (maybe too much so) on its own. There's also the palate presence to make it a perfect match for everything from grilled steak to salade niçoise.

To be honest, Umathum's Rosa took us all by surprise. As much as we like Austrian wine, it's very, very rare that we've tasted an Austrian rosé that could match France's rosés in finesse and minerality or Italy's best for depth and complexity of fruit and spice.

Umathum's strikes a very compelling middle ground between the two styles.

This is one of the reasons why Umathum's Rosa is so versatile. It's full of vibrant berry fruit that's presented with a classy and elegant style and a firm, almost chalky core. The total package is lovely. And for all the enjoyment it has to offer, this remains a serious and fascinating bottle.

Perhaps the quality here shouldn't have been such a surprise. Umathum is widely praised for their very careful biodynamic farming and their wines, particularly their work with the Zweigelt grape.

Their skill is obvious in their Rosa. Here's one of the best rosés of the season. Enjoy!

To order, please email us at or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits