The Greats -- Tavel, the First Rosé of France
Hailing from the southern Côtes du Rhône, Tavel is a 100% rosé AOC and is one of the only rosé only AOCs in France. It is the darkest rosé made and it is in a different class of wine, more similar to the clairets of old (light reds) than the rosés of the modern day.
Photo: Chateau de Trinquevedel, Credit Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant, Importer
Located across the Rhône from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, just north of Avignon this small region makes what many writers have called a fourth type of still wine. These wines are dark in color, and bold in flavor with bright minerality, a touch of tannin, a round body, and intense fruit and herbal notes. Using a blend of uniquely Rhône grapes, it relies not just on reds but on whites, which are co-fermented to generate complexity and maintain acidity. Unlike many rosés, these wines can age for years or decades and improve with time.
With multiple soil types, and a legacy that dates back to the Avignon Popes, this wine is no ordinary rosé. It deserves its place among the greatest wines in the world, and after you hear this (and taste the wine) you’ll be sure to agree!
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Rosés of Southern France by Elizabeth Gabay and Ben Bernheim
Syndicat Viticole de l’Appellation Tavel
Elizabeth Gabay MW on what makes Tavel rosé so different, The Buyer
Wines of the Rhône by Matt Walls
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