They say that summer is for rosé. Though I’m a firm believer that wine has no real “season,” there’s definitely something to be said for the crisp, light flavors of a good rosé to take the edge off a hot day.
In celebration of warmer days and thirst-quenching wines, I’ll present my discussion of the Tavel region in a slightly… unordinary fashion.
Partially because… well, why not? But more importantly, this type of rosé is not exclusively meant for the summer! Doesn’t mean you can’t drink them on warm days; you can also keep one handy for a unique fireside delight, and their qualities do greatly affect food pairing.
Placed in the region of Rhône,
Tavel is but slightly less known.
Vines’ roots can grow deep,
In soils sandy, not steep —
It’s a sunny, Mediterranean zone.
With the heat-loving grape of Grenache,
Tavel’s wines burst with panache.
Add Cinsault and Syrah,
And sip a spicy hurrah,
That juicy, fruity, deep autumn tone.
From strawberry & watermelon, to pepper,
The crispness puts a pop in your stepper!
Rosés so designed
With refreshment in mind,
There’s a good bit of tannin… but whatever!
Why limericks today? No idea. They seemed to be rolling off the tongue rather easily, so I ran with it.
Some non-poetic facts about the region:
- It’s the hipster rosé region, if you will, in that it was the first in France to solely make the pink-hued wines, and they were making it before rosé was “cool.”
- A total of nine grapes are allowed in Tavel for winemaking.
- Rumor has it that Hemingway himself was a fan of Tavel rosés (along with rum and the “Death in the Afternoon” cocktail, the latter of which is a personal favorite of mine).
And now, to actually try a Tavel rosé!
Domaine Lafond Tavel Rosé
Producer: Domaine Lafond
Region: Tavel, France
Grape: 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 20% Syrah
Clear, medium pink; the rich color reminds me of summer watermelon.
Clean, with medium intensity aromas of strawberry, fresh raspberry, watermelon, slate, wet stones, and white pepper. This is a simple wine.
Dry, with medium plus acid, medium minus tannin (as evidenced by its deep color, but dang, that was surprising), medium plus alcohol, and medium body. Flavors are entirely primary to follow the aromas and of medium intensity.
I’ll note that while the fruit aromas were fresh and rich in this simple wine, the rosé presents as more savory on the palate.
The medium-plus finish resolves into a zesty tang of acidity that lingers rather than cleans the palate. It continues to refresh but does seem to beg for some cheese or white meat (like fish or seafood) as a partner in crime. Further, the alcohol level (at 14.1%) is much higher than you’d find in, say, a rosé from Provençal.
With medium intensity in aromas and flavors and low complexity (simple wine, remember) despite a longer length, combined with a nice balance even when considering its tannin and higher alcohol levels, this wine earns a quality rating of “very good.”
As partially mentioned above, Tavel wines can match to a multitude of food options — I tried it with various weekend “lazy” fare like fried chicken (don’t judge me) and bacon and eggs to beautiful effect. White fish and seafood dishes would also hold up, and heck, even salmon would work. Of course, charcuterie, tapas and crudité are obvious options if you prefer the lighter or more vegetarian side of things.
And that’s a wrap on Week 15! I’m already scouting for the next wine on my list — if you have any recommendations om a wine that you’d like for me to locate and taste, let me know in the comments!