Chateau d'Aqueria Tavel Rosé 2015
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Château d’Aquéria has been making wines in the famed Tavel appellation since the end of the 16th century, when monks from the Abbey of Villeneuve-les-Avignon transferred a large tract of land to the Count of Aquéria. Aquéria planted vines on lands that have continued to flourish over the past 400 years. Today, Vincent and Bruno de Bez have built a state-of-the-art winery on the site. Grapes of exceptional quality from such a noble terroir allow Château d’Aquéria to craft a quintessential Tavel, widely appreciated as the finest wine of its appellation.
Tavel’s soils are distinct in that, in contrast to the red, stony soils on the left bank of the Rhône, Tavel's are characterized by hillocks of sand over a chalky clay subsoil, very well drained and without limestone content. The long growing season and intense, sunny summers yield fruit of extraordinary ripeness, concentration and richness in sugar, such that alcohol levels in the wine are restricted by the appellation to 13.5%. Aquéria is the largest estate of Tavel, with 244 acres of which 161 are planted in vines. The estate is also one of only a handful that possesses a contiguous domaine rather than scattered growing plots.
The venerable Château d'Aquéria is today a cutting-edge observer of natural rhythms. The winery maintains a weather station in the vineyard in order to read and respond to real-time weather conditions. Environmentally friendly farming practices include the use of organic fertilizer and allowing grass between the rows to moderate the vigor of the vines.
Grapes are handpicked from Château d’Aquéria’s own vineyards for this wine, in a mesoclimate ideal for cultivating Grenache and crafting crisp, fresh rosé wines. The grapes are destemmed, followed by a maceration to extract color. The grapes are then pressed and each variety is vinified separately, undergoing temperature-controlled maceration and fermentation in stainless steel vats. The wines see no malolactic fermentation and no oak contact. The winemaker assembles an initial blend in November and then a second blending takes place in January before bottling. This is vibrant salmon-coral in color; bone dry in style, full-bodied and full of fruit on the palate, with the lusciousness and depth that have made the wines of Tavel famous.
Wine AdvocateA smokin' effort that readers should check out is the 2015 Tavel Rosé from Chateau d'Aqueria. Made from a mix of Grenache, Clairette, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Syrah, Bourboulenc and Picpoul, it has an elegant, medium-bodied, textured style on the palate to go with ripe aromas and flavors of framboise, black cherries, crushed herbs and a touch of minerality. Drink this food friendly beauty over the coming year or so.