Master of Wine Eugene Mlynczyk discovers a new Niagara Rosé…

Isn’t it grand when something comes out of the blue and pleasantly surprises you? That recently happened to me when I tried a new wine called Saintly Rosé. This is a local VQA wine from the Niagara Region and part of the Arterra Wines Canada family, but since I’m focused on the “luxury” portfolio within our Principle Fine Wines team, I sometimes miss our new ‘general’ launches.

I am a bit of a rosé sceptic, and not because of some early life crush gone bad involving the likes of White Zinfandel or Mateus Rosé (which is not a bad wine). My reason for doubting rosé wines currently revolves around my core preference for wines displaying “complexity.” And with most rosé wines, I just wasn’t getting that.

Lo and behold, Saintly Rosé delivers the goods. It certainly helped that I tried it on a warm summer night while I was eating lighter fare like salads, vegetarian dishes and Asian cuisine. Despite the proven ability to “adjust” the umami factors in most any dish to match most any wine, I still find certain wines more sympathetic to particular cuisines. Here, that July night, my Chateau Reynella Shiraz and my Culmina Hypothesis just weren’t going to make the food and wine matching cut. But, Saintly Rosé did.

The main pleasure factor here is refreshment. Brisk, layered yet angular acidity in a very dry wine featuring strawberry flesh, pleasantly savoury elements and a long satisfying ending. And yes, just a bit of complexity – the “wow factor” that I don’t find in most rosés. There it was, in the newly launched Saintly Rosé, crafted by Marco Piccoli, who is an Italian native making wine in Niagara since 2004. Perhaps his expertise shines through, since his home region of north east Italy’s Friuli district is itself based on wines of mouthwatering character, and only mid bodied wines, not burly monsters. He and team have done an amazing job (or at least enough to amaze me). So, to conclude, lay aside your inner sceptic, or embrace your existing positive bias towards dry rosé wines, and prepare to enjoy a few bottles of Saintly, The Good Rosé with friends and family this summer!

Saintly, The Good Rosé, is available directly online at, Wine Rack and LCBO.

– Eugene Mlynczyk MW for Arterra Wines Canada

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