The Provence Rosés of Château de Roquefeuille

Léa Rouyet & Her Rosés

Château Roquefeuille is one Provence’s larger wine estates focused on producing high quality rosé.  Located in the heart of Provence just 30 km east of Aix-en-Provence, it consists of 202 hectares of clay and limestone soils planted to vines and produces three rosés that are exported to the US. We recently sat down with winemaker Léa Rouyet, who was on her maiden voyage to the US, to taste the wines at Washington DC’s Bistro Lepic, a traditional French restaurant in Georgetown that never fails to deliver delicious, authentic cuisine.  A native of French Basque country, Lea studied winemaking in Bordeaux and Montpelier and made wine in the Languedoc before joining Château Roquefeuille as winemaker three years ago.  All three of her wines (all direct pressed) are bright and fresh, but the mineral-rich, densely flavored 2016 La Combe Rosé was our favorite. We’ll be reviewing many more rosés from around the world in our upcoming 2018 special rosé report. Watch for it.

The US importer is Esprit du Vin.

Lavender at Château Roquefeuille

Château Roquefeuille 2017 Rosé in the Air Côtes de Provence ($22) 89  Very pale pink-peach. Showing a light white flower and rose petal perfume, the Rosé in the Air is delicate and fresh on the palate with hints of citrus and peach. A blend of 55% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 15% Syrah, and 5% Vermentino.  A great summer sipping wine that should be served well chilled.

Château Roquefeuille 2017 “R” de Roquefeuille Côtes de Provence ($30) 91 The “R” is more intense than the Rosé in the Air in every way. It offers aromas and flavors of just-picked white stone fruit and wild red berries. It’s balanced on the palate with bright acidity and a lingering, flavorful crisp finish.  A blend of 38% Grenache, 27% Syrah, 11% Cinsault, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Rolle, and 6% Semillon. This rosé offers the best value, in our opinion.

Château Roquefeuille 2016 La Combe Rosé Côtes de Provence ($50) 92  The La Combe Rosé is an outstanding wine with the density and fullness that makes it a perfect partner for food. It’s mostly made of old vine Grenache (planted in 1956), and the wine shows the red berries characteristic of that variety. But there’s a lot more—an effusive bouquet, density that doesn’t compromise the wine’s elegance, and a very long finish. Outstanding. Made of 84% Grenache, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Cinsault.

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