Tag Archives: Rosé Wine

30 Days of Rosé | #15 | The Withers | Rosé of Grenache & Mourvèdre | Mendocino County | 2016

30 Days of Rosé | #15 | The Withers | Rosé of Grenache & Mourvèdre | 13.2% ABV | Mendocino County | 2016 | $20.99

Last year, we met Andrew Tow.  He delighted us with his Cool climate wines from the Sonoma Coast and Sierra Foothills.  We flipped the switch on going in big and haven’t looked back.  The Withers Rosé of Grenache & Mourvèdre was one of the shooting stars last year – it streaked across our wine selection for a brief time, oohed and aahed customers, then was gone as quickly as it arrived.  Rein in your bottle of the 2016 vintage while you can catch one, and let your palate ride other Withers wine in our domestic red blend and Pinot Noir sections.

From thewitherswinery.com:

Winemaker Tasting Notes

Our 2016 Rosé is a dead ringer for a classic Bandol, highlighted by the color, flavors and aromas of apricot, cherry, watermelon rind nectarine and peach. The wine is buttressed by strong balancing acidity, with excellent tension and lift over its medium bodied, layered and textured frame. Balanced and elegant, it is best served at cellar temperature and can be paired with oysters, shellfish, seafood, pasta and fowl. It will be enjoyable immediately on release but should improve in bottle for 3-5 years.

  • 145 cases made
  • 61% Mourvèdre
  • 39% Grenache
  • 13.2% Alcohol

A True Story

It started off simply enough. Our original goal was to make a few barrels of wine that we would be proud to drink and serve to friends and family. Once we did so, it immediately became more complicated because the response was overwhelmingly positive. So here we are today, having created a wine label that reflects the types of wines we originally set out to make for ourselves, but now make for you. This project has enabled us to pursue many things we love at the same time – making great wines at reasonable prices, conducting ourselves with and collaborating with others who share our goal of social and environmental responsibility, engaging in philanthropy, and equestrian pursuits. We try to pursue all of these avenues surrounded by friends and loved ones and wine is inevitably involved. Key to our mission is supporting local growers and communities and the environment through sharing a percentage of our revenues with causes near and dear to our hearts.

Our aim is to produce elegant, nuanced, balanced, food friendly expressions of cool climate vineyard sites that don’t sacrifice flavor, complexity or intensity. For those wondering about our winery name, the withers is in many species the tallest point of the body. For horses, it is the place from which height is measured. We named our winery in the spirit of striving for heights in every aspect of our operation, and as a tribute to Mr.Burgess, the Irish Connemara pony who has been a member of our extended family for almost 15 years. The artwork on our label is an original illustration of Mr. Burgess drawn by a special young woman who has known our family and the horse since her childhood. He is a sensitive and beautiful animal willing to experiment with the many equestrian disciplines, having over time proven to be reliable and expert at every one.

We aim for the same concept in making wine; be unafraid of exploration and pursue heights of excellence across many disciplines, whether red, white or rosé and irrespective of varietal. What we seek in wine, friendships, music, and everything for which we have a passion is something to reach for, something that draws you in because it is not so obvious on its face, yet which intrigues you. Something that with patience yields an end result that builds from the first impression. Something familiar and evocative, yet which leaves you searching for descriptive words. Something soulful. In other words, we seek to produce qualities in our wines that we look for in every corner of our lives. So we embark on the journey, determined, enthusiastic and hopeful.

This project has been 35 years in the making. Years filled with collecting, sampling, enjoying, learning, and sharing. What we are doing today wouldn’t be possible without help from close friends; extremely talented people about whom we care and who have shared their knowledge, expertise and time. We consider ourselves very lucky to know such wonderful people, and to have them working with us going forward. Combining a personal passion for wine with the hard work involved in making it for others to enjoy requires a healthy respect for the challenges to being successful and for the process itself. We have that respect, and believe that the most important element will always be working with vineyards which produce the high quality fruit from which every fine wine must come, then letting it speak for itself without attempting to alter its true character. I hope you will take an interest in what we are doing, share your true stories with us, and most of all, enjoy our wines with friends, colleagues, and loved ones!

Cheers,

– Andrew Tow | Founder

Where We Grow

Our Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre growers tend sites in the increasingly well known Sierra Foothills region as well as Mendocino County. Our Sierra Foothills growers tend vineyards in higher elevation, cool climate locations that enable the grapes to ripen evenly and beautifully while experiencing cool mornings and evenings, which serve to moderate sugar, and therefore alcohol levels in our wines without sacrificing flavor. The resulting wines are food friendly, balanced and nuanced, with distinct and penetrating varietal flavors.

Who We Are

Andrew Tow | Founder

Mr. Tow has a long background in the media and telecommunications industries, and a longer love for everything about wine. He has a passion for his wife and three children, live music, and the outdoors, as well as understated wines of balance and flavor. While this is his first venture as a winery owner, he has formed many relationships in the industry over 35 years of travel, shared experiences, and common values.
Kathleen Tow | General Manager 

Mrs. Tow, Mr. Tow’s wife of 26 years, is responsible for customer and distributor relations as well as the mailing list and wine clubs.  She is an accomplished equestrian focusing on dressage riding and working daily with Mr. Burgess, the gray horse whose image appears on our wine label. Mrs. Tow is involved in all aspects of the winery and its operations.
David Low | Winemaker

Mr. Low is an accomplished and acclaimed winemaker, having served in various capacities at William Selyem Winery, as Assistant Winemaker at Papapietro Perry Winery, and as Co-Founder and Winemaker at the award winning Anthill Farms Winery. He has had a hand in crafting many distinctive and highly rated cool climate Pinot Noirs and Rhone Varietals, as well as Whites and Rosés.
Tyson Freeman

Mr. Freeman is an experienced winemaker and cellar manager, having worked at Papapietro Perry Winery in various capacities. Mr. Freeman is responsible for sourcing grapes, vineyard and cellar management and assisting Mr. Low in various capacities throughout the cycle of making, cellaring, and bottling our wine.

 

30 Days of Rosé | #12 | Effusion | Moussé Fils | Champagne Rosé | 2016

30 Days of Rosé | #12 | Effusion | Moussé Fils | Champagne Rosé | 2016 | $47.99

We sift through well over 1,000 wines a year to pluck the best to share with you – it’s hard work!

We have an extensive selection of sparkling Rosé and were not looking at all to add another one, especially if it would retail at over $500 a case.

Moussé Fils whipped our heads around, sent us into a tizzy, and we HAD to have it.

We mulled over dozens  of reasons to not buy it, head, heart, and palate battled – our visceral senses won over our brains because Moussé Fils was too delicious to not bring in.

With only a couple exceptions, we’d rather drink this any other sparking wine we’ve ever had under $150 which is saying a lot considering everything we’ve had over the years.

Skip the big commercial brands, and grab a bottle of Moussé Fils for brunch, special celebration or casual occasion.. or hint hint nudge nudge… the next time you want delight your partner (or treat yourself – we know you deserve it!).

At $47.99, Moussé Fils punches twice above it’s weight class for flavor and pleasure.  To say the least, this one is a stunner.

It’s hard not to be too enthusiastic about this wine. We’ll stop talking and let you explore it.

In case you didn’t notice, we plainly hardcore ♥ Effusion Moussé Fils Champagne Rosé.

 

Moussé Fils | champagnemoussefils.com

You’ll find Champagne Moussé Fils in the heart of the Marne River valley in the village of Cuisles where, since 1923, perfecting the art of growing Meunier and bringing it to the peak of its potential has been the guiding principle of everything we do.

Our vineyards are spread out across 4 different villages yet all of them are on the same hillside; an unusual characteristic that is reflected in all of our champagnes.

Our family has been making champagne for 4 generations now and we’ve been growing vines from as long ago as 1750 so you can understand why we attach so much importance to looking after the environment. We want to ensure that our champagnes reflect all the character and personality of our vineyards and to achieve that we pay the most scrupulous attention to each stage of the wine making to ensure that everything is done as naturally as possible.

Our Principles

  • Use of the natural light
  • No chemical weeding
  • We use plants to protect other plants
  • Horse ploughing
  • Wood diseases treatment with perfusions of essential oils
  • We use the latest light-weight bottles to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Much of our water comes from natural springs
  • When old vines are dug up they are used for household heating
  • The cellars are temperature controlled using a soil-air heat exchanger
  • Protecting the vines and taking care of the environment
  • Each building produces its own hot water from solar panels
  • Chilling of the wine in a natural way
  • Planting seeds following the moon’s cycle
  • Tractor’s decontamination in a specialized washing station
  • Growing grass in the vines in Autumn to improve soil quality
  • Mirror-finished tank to save water
  • Self-sufficient in electricity
  • Eco-conceived storehouse

« We do not inherit the earth from our parents,
we borrow it from our children ». – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

 

Moussé Fils | Champagne Rosé | 2016

  • Cépage:  92% Meunier 8% Pinot Noir
  • Assemblage:  Blend of solera 2003-2014 and 12% red Wine from Meunier
  • Info/Source:  Sourced from vineyards in Cuisles, Jonquery, Châtillon-sur-Marne and Olizy.
  • Vines:  25 years old on average.
  • Malo:  Yes
  • Elevage:  Oak and stainless steel tank
  • Sur Lees:  16 months
  • Region:  Champagne
  • Appellation:  Vallee de la Marne
  • Color:  Rosé
  • Farming Practice:  Practicing Organic

What are the origins of Meunier?

It’s a more rustic variation of its genetic parent Pinot Noir and was called Meunier, without the word Pinot, so as to avoid confusion between the two.

Where does the name Meunier come from?

According to reference books about grape vines it seems that the name comes from the characteristic, soft, white coating on the leaves that makes them look as though they’ve been covered in flour, hence the name Meunier which means Miller in English.

These days Meunier has a good reputation, but that hasn’t always been the case. Why is that?

Meunier was often disparaged when used on its own and for years it was shunned by the big champagne houses. It was only Henri Krug who sang its praises. In the 1970s there was even a premium paid for what were called ‘Noble Grapes’ but it applied only to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Fortunately, for the past few years, Meunier has been regaining its reputation and today it’s considered to be the perfect varietal for blending. You only have to look at the great Meunier champagnes of René Collard to see the truth of this.

Why is Meunier the preferred varietal at Champagne Moussé Fils ?

Our family has been growing Meunier for 12 generations and every generation has believed in its vast potential. I wanted to give Meunier the respect it deserves and to show lovers of fine champagne that Meunier can produce wines of the utmost finesse. Our motto “Deeply Meunier” is the perfect illustration of that ambition and the perfect reflection of our wines: fine, elegant, and fruity.

– Cédric Moussé

 

30 Days of Rosé | #11 | Emmanuel & Thierry Delaille | Cheverny Rosé | Vin de Pays du Val de Loire | 2016

30 Days of Rosé | #11 | Emmanuel & Thierry Delaille | Cheverny Rosé | Vin de Pays du Val de Loire | 2016 | $14.99

Ah wine from Cheverny… white, red, or rosé, is a rising star in our French wine section.  We’re mesmerized not just by the superb balance and sensory experience of these wines, but also because we’ve personally met with the makers who carefully harvest the grapes, make the wine, and ship it over to us in this small community.  We are most delighted to not just support our friends who responsibly craft these craveable wines, but to share their labor of liquid love with you. 

From kermitlynch.com/our-wines/domaine-du-salvard:

Domaine du Salvard

Domaine du Salvard has been a working domaine since 1898, through five hardworking generations of the Delaille family. Today, all forty-two hectares of vineyards are farmed by the capable brother team of Emmanuel and Thierry Delaille, with help from their father Gilbert. To our delight, they have carried on the traditions established by their ancestors, producing a true, classic Cheverny that is both simple and elegant. The Delaille brothers have focused their attention on growing fresh, lively Sauvignon Blanc, deeply rooted in the sand, clay, and limestone plains of northeastern Touraine. Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Cot constitute their red grape holdings, creating youthful reds with great aromatics. Gilbert and his sons have also made their own contributions to the heritage of the domaine, including the introduction of sustainable farming practices into the vineyards, as well as temperature-controlled vinification equipment to the winery.

Until finally achieving A.O.C. status in 1993, Cheverny was widely regarded as one of the best V.D.Q.S. (Vin de Qualité Superieur) of the Loire. However, some argue that this A.O.C.-in-waiting designation was a political maneuver by the I.N.A.O. to keep Cheverny’s delicious, sprightly Sauvignon Blanc out of competition with the other more famous appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Kermit was the first to discover the charm and value of Cheverny back in 1978 when he imported the Domaine Jean Gueritte. He took on the Cheverny of Domaine du Salvard in 1992, a year before the status change in the appellation. We continue to tout the domaine’s wine as one of the greatest values for Sauvignon Blanc perfection.

VITICULTURE / VINIFICATION

  • All wines are vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel cuves
  • All wines age on fine lees in stainless steel tanks and are bottled unfiltered
  • Rosé is 50% free-run juice, 50% pressed
  • 65% Pinot Noir / 35% Gamay

The proliferation of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides in the 1950s has made France the single largest consumer of phyto-chemicals in Europe today. The subsequent degradation of the soil has ensued, killing off the necessary microbiotic life forms that support healthy soils. Lutte raisonnée, literally “reasoned fight” (in French), or “supervised control” (in English), is a reaction to the use of such chemicals, regarded as a pragmatic approach to farming, where chemical treatments are used only when absolutely necessary. Biodiversity in the vineyards is encouraged through the planting of cover crops, rigorous plowing of the soils, and the use of manures and natural composts to fertilize the vines. Some growers use this as a first step towards full organic farming. Others find it a happy medium between conventional methods and the stricter demands dictated by organic certifying agencies. There is a wide berth of interpretation concerning these methods. Some farmers work through certifying agencies such as Terra Vitis, following a specific set of specifications and requirements. Others farm independently, following organic methodologies, and reserving treatments only when conditions are optimal (for example, when there is no wind). Zoologists have introduced more environmentally-friendly concepts such as integrated pest management, or hormone confusion, which prevents the reproduction of certain pests that may threaten the vines. The reduction of sprays not only contributes to the health of the vines and the greater ecosystem, but also to the health of the winegrowers (who account for the largest percentage of cancer cases among farmers).

If you revel in Chinon Rosé like us, we encourage you to explore Chinon, the first installment in our 30 Days of Rosé!

30 Days of Rosé | #01 | Kermit Lynch | Chinon Rosé | Charles Joguet

30 Days of Rosé | #09 | Bone Jolly | Edmunds St. John | Gamay Noir Rosé | El Dorado County | 2016

30 Days of Rosé | #09 | Bone Jolly | Gamay Noir Rosé | El Dorado County | 2016

Rustle your bones and try a lively Rosé from one of the highest (elevation) California vineyards!

From edmundsstjohn.com:

Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rosé:

The 2014 vintage in California was the second in a row substantially affected by  severe drought.  Despite very limited irrigation in the vineyards we work with, the available soil moisture was so greatly diminished by early August that the vines ripening process was accelerated before much sugar had accumulated in the grapes. Fortunately the weather stayed pretty even, and the early and rapid harvest produced exceptionally high quality fruit. Alcohols were low, acidity was strong, and energy and freshness were hallmarks of the resulting wines. Case in point: our 2014 Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rosé

FRUIT SOURCE:

Witters Vineyard At 3400’ elevation, above Camino, in the eastern reaches of the Apple Hill region. Soil is Aiken series vocanic clay-loam. The property was, for many years, a pear orchard, but in 2000 Bob Witters followed Ron Mansfield’s recommendation, and planted four acres of Gamay for us. Since 2011, we’ve used the Gamay from Witters exclusively for rosé.

WINEMAKING NOTES:

Picked August 18th at a bit under 21 Brix, with a 3.28pH. Grapes were de-stemmed into the press, and pressed immediately. Juice fermented very cool at 55-60F, till dryness at mid-September, at which point the malo was blocked.

WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES:

Pretty pale-pink color with a little blue around the rim. Very fresh, penetrating nose . Juicy and precise on the palate, mouth-watering, showing lot of depth. The finish is long, and clean. This is already really versatile at the table, as always. Alcohol is 12.6%

Witters Vineyard:

Before 2000, Bob Witters’ property was planted to Bartlett pears, for quite some time. But by 1999, the pressure of global economics drove the market price for Bob’s pears so low that it didn’t make sense for him to keep farming them. The market for wine grapes, on the other hand, was expanding, and Bob had a conversation with Ron Mansfield about putting in a vineyard to replace his pears.

Since Edmunds St. John had been working with Ron at that point for a dozen years, we spoke about Bob’s site, and it seemed like it might be a really good site for Gamay, a grape that had been on our radar for some time. Ron conferred with Bob, and in the Spring of 2000, four acres were planted to Gamay, the first planting of real Gamay in California in a generation!

Witters is situated at 3,400 feet elevation, making it one of the highest vineyards in California. The soil is volcanic clay-loam, and the land slopes gently down to the North. At that elevation, temperatures are generally pretty mild, and nights can be quite cool. The risk for frost in the Spring is fairly high, and there have been a couple of years where crop losses were substantial.

About:

First Principles – I didn’t get into the wine business until I’d been on this earth for 25 years.  I’ve spent the last 29 years trying to steer Edmunds St. John through the maelstrom of the marketplace while simultaneously attempting to bring something new to the landscape of California wine.  Who knows what’s next? I just might have a few more tricks up my sleeve!

Winemaking isn’t Rocket Science; it’s an ancient, relatively straightforward process that should yield, in any wine, a precise expression of the vineyard and the season that produced it.

86 Mourvedre

Given grapes farmed attentively, with vines in optimal balance, the key to producing a wine that is an elemental, unfettered expression of its origin in place and time is being able to pick at that point closest to the moment when the flavor in the grapes has come fully into focus, a moment that is usually also when that flavor is most energetic.  The window is fairly small. After the grapes are picked, I’m trying not to add or subtract anything from the raw material.

In 1987 a wine grower from a venerable domaine in Southern France visited our cellar, and tasted a number of wines from the harvest just past. When he came to the one from my favorite vineyard his response was dramatic: he raised his nose from the glass, slowly rolling his eyes upward in reverie. He sighed, and whispered, “la terre parle” (the earth speaks). If I have done my job well, when you taste our wine you may be similarly affected; this is a voice one longs to hear.

It is our goal to produce wines of the highest level of quality, integrity, and authenticity, the hallmarks of which are balance, nuance, and elegance, wines that express their origins in place and time, wines through which “the earth speaks” in a clear and strong voice. As a winemaker, for me there is no other voice.

After three decades, there are still many people who have not heard of us, but of those who have, most of them seem to say “Oh, yes; Edmunds St. John–they make great wines!”

Steve Edmunds, 2015

 

 

30 Days of Rosé | #08 | Domaine de la Mordorée | La Dame Rousse | Tavel Rosé | 2016

30 Days of Rosé | #08 | Domaine de la Mordorée | La Dame Rousse | Tavel Rosé | 2016 | $27.99

 

Explore the history and terroir of Tavel with one of the more prestigious Rosé wines we have in our liquid arsenal!

 

From domaine-mordoree.com:

La Dame Rousse:

  • Appellation : Tavel
  • Cuvée : Dame Rousse
  • Colour : Rosé
  • Vintage : 2016
  • Surface : 9 Ha.
  • Grapes :
    ~  Grenache : 60 %
    ~  Cinsault : 10 %
    ~  Syrah : 10 %
    ~  Mourvèdre : 10%
    ~  Clairette : 5%
    ~  Bourboulenc : 5 %
  • Vineyard Age : 40 ans
  • Terroir : mix of 3 terroirs : galets roulés (big pebble stones) lauzes (flat limestones) and mostly sandy
  • Harvest : by hand with sorting
  • Vinification : 100% destemmed, 36 to 48 h cold maceration.

Tasting

  • Hue : rose with blueish glares
  • Aromas : very fruity (strawberries cherry, red gooseberry, pink grapefuit and tangerine) and floral, delicates, of ancient roses
  • Mouth : rounded, well balanced and fresh
  • Pairings : fishes, seafood, white meat,
    duck, oriental and asiatic dishes

The Domaine

Ideally located at the crossroads of Provence and Languedoc, the Domaine de la Mordorée produces some of the greatest vintages of the Rhone Valley : Châteauneuf du Pape, Lirac, Tavel.

Our philosophy has always been to produce the greatest wines possible. To achieve this goal we have selected the best parcels of land, the highest grade grapes and developed environmental friendly wine growing methods. The vinification and maturation of our wines combine both tradition and modernity.

The fruits of our efforts were quickly rewarded with prizes, in the Paris Agricultural Fair as well as other fairs where we have won over 160 medals since 1985. The specialized press and the greatest wine reviewers, like the Revue du Vin de France, Wine Spectator, or Parker have acknowledged and praised the quality of our wines.

The Mediterranean area granted us a climate and beauty which are exceptionally favourable to tourism. The whole environment appeals to discovering a unique wealth of landscapes and culture : Avignon, Arles, Nîmes, the Camargue, the Pont du Gard, the Luberon, and the Cevennes are minutes away, offering easy and boundless access to gastronomy, culture, nature or architectural heritage.

This outstanding environment naturally inspired us for the name of our Domaine : the Mordorée is the poetic nickname used locally for the woodcock that flies over our lands during its migrations.

« The end never justifies the means »

We strongly believe the way used to obtain a result is at least as important as the achievement itself. Of course, we aim towards the highest possible quality, but not at any cost : a result alone would by no means suffice.

Our code of ethics is profoundly based on respecting the gifts of nature through our soils and landscapes. This code of ethics is consequently applied to all the stages of production, ensuring that future generations may live in harmony with our heritage. We are but passers-by on Earth, our presence is ephemeral and we are not here to exhaust our resources but to develop our land’s riches.

Our actions are thus continuously guided by environmental awareness. This philosophy has guided us for 15 years. Our efforts have been particularly forceful over the past 5 years, seeking to support tradition with innovative solutions. The key word of this approach, both in definition and spirit, is respect.
Respect for nature, respect for man, respect for our customers and respect for our pledge.

These inviolable rules are the very basis of our estate : the rules that steer our concepts and actions today, and that we hope shall show the way tomorrow.

 

There are three main soil types in the lands of Tavel :

  • Quartz round pebbles on the villafranchienne terrace : Vallongue.
  • Flat lime stones originating from the Barremien crumbled hill-stones : Campey, la Vaute, Romagnac, Torette, la Vau et Clos, Les Vestides, les Comeyres, Vaussières.
  • Astien fluvial sands : Vaucrose, Vaucrose et Vacquières, Genestière, Codoyères, Le Palai, Roquaute, Bouvette, Olivet.
    Some parcels have mixed subsoils, as in Cravailleux, where round pebbles and flat stones can be found as well as Astien fluvial sands and pebbles.

The soils are mostly poor in humus and organic matter, making Tavel an ideal land for winegrowing.

Pebbles and stones have a definite effect on the vines : Barremian flat stones are whitish and tend to reflect most sunrays during the day, activating the maturation of the berries. As for Villafanchian pebbles, they accumulate heat during the day that they release during the night.

Plot in AOC Tavel, this area is called Vallongue West

The climate in Tavel can vary considerably depending on the spot; there can easily be a 2° Celsius difference between the east and west of the lands, like on the Vallongue plateau, more exposed to the cold Mistral, and Campey or Romagnac. What happens is some plots can be frozen while others aren’t, resulting in a different stage of maturity during the wine harvest, by a few degrees. Generally speaking, we have over 200 days of sunshine per year with average temperatures at 22°Celsius in summer, and 7.3° Celsius in winter. Rainfalls average 201 mm in summer and 503 mm the rest of the year. As for the Mistral, it blows on average 158 days per year out of which more than 100 days at 60km per hour. Sometimes, as was the case in May 2000, the winds can blow at over 100 km per hour, for over a week.

Grape varieties

The grapes authorized in Tavel AOC (Appelation d’Origine Contrôlée) are the following :

  • Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette white and pink, Picpoul, Calitor (out of fashion : there are only a few dozens of vines left), Bourboulenc, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Carignan.None these grapes must exceed 60 % of a vineyard’s total, and Carignan must not exceed 10%.

The Tavel appellation vines exploited by the Domaine de la Mordorée are located on the plateau of Vallongue, at Palai, Roquaute, and Romagnac ; their composition is as follows : Grenache 60 % , Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault 10%, Bourboulenc and Clairette 5%.

Plot in AOC Tavel, this area is called Vallongue West

Plot in AOC Tavel, an harmonious mix of sand and clay, planted with 8 years old Syrah.

The wines produced here are rounded and fruity.

To be noticed : one can see some pebble stones coming from the Vallongue plateau located on the left of this picture.

 

HISTORY OF TAVEL

Tavel has always been the land of vines and winegrowers: the remains of a Roman-time cellar were found in Tavel, still containing great amounts of grape pips, proving the importance of the wine industry at that time.

The reputation of Tavel is centuries-old: Ronsard, Philippe le Bel, the Popes of Avignon, François 1er and Louis XIV loved and praised this wine for its qualities. A quality that winegrowers have always sustained forcefully through the ages; thus, on the 8 April 1716 the consuls of Tavel asked that authorities forbid any wild import of grapes that would harm the reputation of Tavel wine. Then, on 10 September 1737, a royal decree authorized Tavel to be part of those villages to bear the CDR (Côte du Rhône) seal on its barrels, a seal which was the first to define an appellation covering several districts.

In those days vineyards covered 375 hectares in Tavel and were the main source of income for the village of about 200 families. A great period of expansion followed, and in 1819 the Vineyard reached 721 hectares. But then, the phylloxera disease almost destroyed the whole vineyard: from 800 hectares in 1868, the vineyard dropped to 50 sickly, and barely exploitable hectares, in 1870. The village population itself dropped from 1314 inhabitants before the phylloxera 611 inhabitants in 1931.

Villagers tried to diversify their activities: raising silkworms, making olive oil, small-scale agriculture or, in some cases, trying to get hired in the surrounding phosphate mines. Hopefully, this only lasted a few years, and by 1887 Tavel winegrowers once again believed in their vineyards.

1887 was the year when the first American stumps were bought and transplanted in Tavel: they represented the only efficient response to the phylloxera plague [3]. By 1914, the Vineyard reached 195 hectares, then 260 in 1926 and 960 today. The energy developed by winegrowers can still be found today in the defense of Tavel wines, its reputation and lands of production. In 1902, an association was created grouping owner winegrowers in Tavel to protect the wines of Tavel, to preserve its genuineness and typical character. In 1928, this association started a long struggle to obtain an appellation that would define the vineyard lands of Tavel; in 1936 Tavel was one of the first wines to obtain the AOC acknowledgment.

Nowadays, most inhabitants of Tavel perpetrate their efforts for better quality, trying to use as few pesticides as possible to preserve the health of man and environment: Tavel is among the first pioneer villages to have developed reasoned agriculture [3].
Today, Tavel wines are found in all the wine menus of restaurants that have obtained three stars in the famous Michelin guide. Tavel wines export well and are found on all the tables of wine connoisseurs throughout the world.

 

 

30 Days of Rosé | #07 | Birichino Rosé | Vin Gris Rosé | 2016

30 Days of Rosé | #07 | Birichino Rosé | Vin Gris Rosé | Beverage Warehouse

 30 Days of Rosé | #07 | Birichino Rosé | Vin Gris Rosé | 2016 | $16.99

 

No matter how you say ‘Birichino’, we call their wine delicious!  Dip in to the second domestic Rosé we’re featuring during our wonderful 30 day journey of Rosé!

 

From birichino.com:

 Birichino

About the name- Birichino- biri-kino. Like locksmiths in the  United States that add additional AAAs onto their names to be the first listed in the telephone directory, and drawing on deep reserves of innate marketing genius, we went in search of something unpronounceable to English speakers, yet also difficult to remember that began with A or B. Alluce was an early favorite, seeming to evoke lightness and air in English, but in fact translating as big toe. Seeking something with that playfulness, though about some things we profess to be deadly serious, and inspired by the surprising, slighty racy character of our first wine, the Malvasia Bianca  that leads one on to thinking sweet, and delivers something else entirely, we hit on Birichino, meaning naughty in Italian. And who doesn’t consider themselves just a little bit naughty, after all?

2016 Vin Gris

19th Century Contra Costa County mourvèdre first lent larger scale and density to our Vin Gris in 2015, an effect magnified in 2016. We’d originally planned to make a larger quantity of mourvèdre rouge in 2016, however the unpredictability of nature often leaves well formulated plans to wilt like a harvest intern without a trucker’s hat in the sizzling Oakley sun.

A mid-August spike of intense daytime and evening heat diminished prospects for the requisite color, tannin and body development for red, but the deeply rooted old vines didn’t defoliate, and the potential for killer rosé was apparent.

We crushed the majority of the grapes, and pressed to produce a light, visually delicate, though clearly intense pink juice. Fermented native in stainless, the finished wine is prominently marked by this lot of mourvèdre – spice, heft, structure, pink grapefruit rind, guava, a whiff of gunflint.

All the other elements are there – mid-body and red fruits from the alpine grenache from the Sierra foothills and from Besson, the fragrance and prettiness of the Bechthold cinsault, a bit of exotic stone fruit from the vermentino. But the mourvèdre really shows through – more muscular than curvaceous, more attack than restraint, more rock than rolle. But damn, it’s still pretty.

Besson

We are tremendously fortunate – on many levels – to have known and worked with George Besson Jr. and his exceptional vineyard for twenty years. George’s grandfather purchased the vineyard in 1922 [it was planted in 1910] from reputed bootleggers. We are honored to continue the long legacy of a commitment to the wine and spirits business at this property.

These non-irrigated vines, planted on their own roots, sit on a rocky gentle slope just low enough to disqualify it for the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation. Walking through the vines with George, one senses his deep affection and respect for the land and the vines, and his belief in man’s subordinate role to nature in determining the ultimate quality of the grapes grown there. As a consequence of the age of the vines, the lack of irrigation, and the conservative farming practices, the quantity of grapes grown there is quite small – rarely if ever over 2.5 tons/acre, and roughly 2 tons/acre in 2010. Thankfully, Georges Junior and Senior [who still lives in a house surrounded by the 11 acre vineyard] prefer the company of old vines to new neighbors or a vacation home in the tropics, as they appear committed to keeping these geezers producing for a long time to come.