DE LUXE DESIGN When Chateau Malartic-Lagraviere (above) introduced its new rose with the 2006 vintage, Wine Enthusiast magazine described it thus: 'Quite an innovation from a major Bordeaux chateau - a rose bottled with a screw top, albeit a very smart, de luxe design.' Bordeaux chateaux have greater freedom to innovate with rose. Expectations of the wine are less conservative - and lower - but the region's dry roses are being taken more seriously internationally. Chateau-Malartic Lagraviere's Severine Bonnie says the estate makes rose in years when the red 'grand vin' will benefit from 'bleeding' - draining some pink juice from the vats at an early stage to concentrate the wine. The pink byproduct is vinified in the same way as the whites. It is then 25 per cent barrel and 75 per cent tank-matured to produce an elegant, complex red fruit-dominated wine with pronounced strawberry notes. 'It results in a very fruity and fresh wine, but with character. The majority of the blend is merlot and the rest cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. We decided to put on a screw cap in order to preserve the freshness and the fruit aromas,' Bonnie says. Cathay Pacific wine consultant Roy Moorfield, who is a rose fan, says excellent dry roses are made in the region. 'Chateau de la Riviere Rose from Chateau de la Riviere, Fronsac, is made from predominately merlot grapes,' he says. 'Fleshy and pale and with a full dry palate, the longer you keep it in the short term the better it will be - drink [the 2011 vintage] now or keep for three years.' He also recommends the 2010 Chateau Lafon-Roset from Chateau Lafon-Rochet, St-Estephe, a fourth growth. 'Across a little creek from this vineyard is Chateau Lafite. Made from 100 per cent cabernet, it is pale and tight and will need two years to evolve and express the fruit. It is already a crisp, positive wine that will suit most dishes,' he adds. Also worth seeking out is rose from Chateau de Sours, which pioneered the Bordeaux rose revival.