Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Guillaume Demoulin is the fourth generation of his family to farm the beautiful vineyards of Chateau de Trinquevedel. His great-grandfather, Eugène, bought the eighteenth-century chateau in 1936—an opportune decision that coincided with the establishment of Tavel's A.O.C that same year. However timely, the vineyards were in terrible disrepair, and Eugène had an enormous task ahead. By 1960, the grapes were finally producing wine worthy of the Demoulin's own bottlings, and the chateau had at last been restored to its former glory. Louis XIV was among the first to sing the praises of Tavel's delicious and memorable rosés, which only stands to reason given the appellation’s grand cru reputation today. Tavel is the only A.O.C. entirely made up of rosé, which prohibits any whites or reds from wearing the label of this Southern Rhône cru. No more than sixty percent of the final blend can be made up of the noble Grenache. In other appellations where rosé is made, it is often regarded as an afterthought— most of the grapes are frequently sourced from lesser parcels, as the lighter maceration of the grapes is seen as "wasting" precious juice. In Tavel, even the best parcels may contribute to the blend, yet another aspect that makes this cru so special.
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.