Unofficially, the official Rose wine season is in full swing now, as the vast majority of the new vintages have arrived and the warm weather is here to stay. Great Rose comes from everywhere these days, utilizing pretty much every grape that makes a red wine, but there is always something to be said for the time honored classics of Southern France. It's like comfort food, so consistent and fulfilling it doesn't need to be re-imagined or reinvented in order to be enjoyable and exactly what we want. The Tavel region sits just across the river from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and is a rare Rose-only appellation in France especially being surrounded by big name red wine producers. Fans of Provence style Rose will notice a distinct color difference in Tavel versions, a deeper ruby color instead of the famous pale salmon pink. Tavel Rose (and in general other Rhone based Rose of a similar color) is built from a higher percentage of Grenache in the blend versus Cinsault, which has more natural pigment in the skins. Even though the juice spends the briefest of time during pressing in contact with the skin, it is enough to create this dramatic color change. Grenache is also naturally less acidic, which gives their Roses a juicier texture and softer fruit on the palate.
From the first whiff the aromas are all juicy strawberries and cherry skins that build and take over the glass as it opens up, with hints of citrus and some savory herbs in the background thanks to the complimentary role of the other grapes in the blend. Straight Grenache Rose almost verges into the sweeter fruit category, so the 35% or so of other varieties help keep that tendency in check and greatly influence the complexity. The palate is fuller for a Rose, round and mouth-filling, almost the texture of an unoaked Chardonnay but for a prickle of tart apple skin type acidity and light tannin on the finish. The juicy red fruits are pulpy fresh and fill the palate quite nicely, seriously flavorful but still easy enough to be enjoyed by all. Great for easy sipping but also textured enough to pair well with lighter pork or chicken dishes for back porch summertime meals.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!