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Vignerons de Tavel

I’m not positive but sure enough to put it to print that Tavel is the only appellation in the world dedicated to Rose; no whites, no reds made here. Eponymous of the village located at its center, Tavel is an old French appellation and the first French rosé to be labeled AOC. At 4 ½ square miles the entire appellation is smaller than most Red River Valley beet or wheat farms yet within its confines are three distinct soils; to the east of the village towards Chateauneuf-du-Pape are smooth round stone, the galets, to the south it is flat and sandy and then generally west of the village of Tavel is limestone and slate. To the north I believe apes are the dominate species though I’ve never gone there myself.

Domaine des Carteresses is a 37 acre property close to Tavel with soils of limestone and smooth pebbles. In this low yielding vineyard, these soils produce a deep, very aromatic wine. The soil and certainly the age of the vines, 35 years old at writing, contribute to this as Grenache is not shy yielding varietal.

I believe that another explanation for why the rose of Domiane des Carteresses is so darn appealing is the complexity of the cepage, the blend of grapes: 50% Grenache noir. 20% Cinsault, 17% Carignan, and 7% between Syrah and Mourvedre. Whoa, you say, “That doesn’t add up to a whole.” In France with the exception of Champagne it is not legal to make rose by mixing red and white wine. That does not mean that white varieties cannot be in the blend and so it is at Domain des Carteresse with 6% Clairette and another 6% between Picpoul and Bourboulenc. Certainly an old world cepage and all the more interesting for it.

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