Chateau D'Aqueria Tavel Rose 2011
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 1595, the monks of the Abbey of Villeneuve-les-Avignon transferred a large portion of their landholding northeast of Avignon, on the right bank of the Rhône River, to a citizen and aristocrat of Avignon, Louis Joseph d'Aquéria. This district, known as the "puy sablonnier," or "sandy hill," covered the east-central quarter of what was then and is now Tavel. Aquéria planted vines there and built a residence at the beginning of the 1600s, and the area became known by his name. Over the next two centuries the vineyard remained productive, but was sold and subdivided many times; at the beginning of the 18th century the present chateau was constructed.
Chateau d'Aquéria is now owned by the son of Jean Olivier, Paul de Bez, and his sons Vincent and Bruno, who over the end of the 1980s renovated the vinification facilities and cellars with the addition of stainless steel fermentation tanks and exact temperature control over wines in storage.
The only all-rosé appellation in the Rhone, a Tavel comes in many hues from light salmon to bright pink and is said to be the only rosé that can actually age—and improve. The rosé wines of Tavel have a great historic reputation, having been favored by King Louis XIV in the 18th century, as well as famous authors, Balzac and Mistral.
Tavel are always dry but the high percentage of the fruity Grenache (30-60% of the blend by law) and even Cinsault, give charming aromas and flavors that make them feel "almost sweet." A great Tavel rosé will have a bouquet suggestive of rose petals, apricot, strawberry and red currant. The palate may be fleshy, round and layered but is always fresh and balanced.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color depends on grape variety and winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta.