Tavel: France’s Other Rosé

Tavel makes the “no wimpy wines” of the rosé world.  In sharp contrast with the popular, pale colored rosés of Provence, those of Tavel are gutsy, dark colored and deeply flavored rosés made from vines that struggle to grow in the cobblestones of the Rhône, like those of Alain Jaume’s vineyard shown here. The Tavel rosé isn’t your “sipping by the swimming pool” wine; it’s a substantive light red meant for pairing with grilled chicken, pork and other meats. The saignée method typically followed in the region also means that alcohol levels can be high.   For more on Tavel, see our report on The World of Rosé

The Wines

Alain Jaume 2019 Le Crétacé Tavel ($29) 91 Lean and focused, the Le Crétacé rosé from Tavel reveals pomegranate and red cherry skin on the nose. Distinctly dry on the palate with a firm acidic backbone, pure flavors, and a lingering finish. A superb pairing with roast salmon. A blend of 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre made saignée method with no malo. 14.5% alc  

Château d’Aqueria 2019 Rosé Tavel 92   Light red. Very fragrant with scents of red cherry, raspberry, and a hint of citrus. Exuberant on the attack and fresh and superbly balanced on the palate. Rich, lingering finish. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Clairette. 14.5% alc.

Domaine Corne-Loup 2019 Rosé Tavel ($22) 91 With an effusive bouquet of fresh strawberry syrup, the 2019 Corne-Loup Rosé shows excellent freshness and refinement on the palate. Red cherry and berry flavors are enhanced by a notable mineral note. A superb Tavel! A blend of 60% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 10% Syrah, and 15% Mourvedre, Clairette and Carignan from 20 year old vines grown on pebbly, sandy soil in the Plateau de Vallongue sub-region. 14.1% alc. 

Domaine de la Mordorée 2019 La Reine des Bois Tavel ($45) 92 A substantial rosé with a red cherry-berry and rose petal perfume and excellent depth of flavor. Offers a weighty palate infused with fresh fruit and superbly balanced.  Pairs superbly with spicy Mexican food. 60% Grenache, 15% Clairette, 10% Syrah, 10% Cinsault, and 5% Bourboulenc from organically cultivated 3 ha vineyard of 40 year old vines grown in a sandy-limestone mix of gales roulés (cobblestones).   14.5% alc.

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