Tavel Rose Rounds Out the Summer
Summer is still lingering, but there is a softness in the air that hints at the coolness that is fast approaching. We are all hanging on to the last gasps of warmth and embracing the finale of the season.
On one such night, I opened this Chateau de Trinquevedel, Tavel Rose, France, 2013. Tavel is a town very close to Avignon in the Rhone Valley and is unique in that it only produces rose. It was also the first region to be granted AOC status for the pink sipper, meaning rose is serious business. In other parts of the world, where rose is sometimes produced as an afterthought or as a "casual" wine in a producer's portfolio, Tavel winemakers must meet strict requirements to ensure they are creating quality quaffers.
With this particular bottle, the winemaker's great-grandfather fortuitously purchased the chateau in 1936, the same year Tavel was granted AOC status. However, he wasn't profitable immediately as the vineyard was in rough shape; "rough" as in it took until 1960 for them to release wines that upheld the governing regulations. Talk about gumption.
The soil, most interestingly, is comprised of sand and galets (round stones), which are a signature characteristic of Chateauneuf du Pape, which obviously peaked my CdP-loving self's interest. So, how did this wine fare?
The color was a deep rose, which immediately gave the visual impression of power. On the nose, field ripe strawberries, bright cherries and a strong floral tone, almost that of a rose (funny how that works) came through. The palate showcased a lot of the same strawberry notes, ripe raspberries and blackberries yet there was a savory quality, almost like licking a rock, and a spiciness that came through as well. Medium acid and medium plus-bodied, it was a rich rose.
Keep tasting, friends....