I can’t get it out of my head… And, It’s really difficult for me to explain… But, I am in love with Tavel. This is the area of the world that produces what is, to me, the finest expression of rose’ that exists. I think it’s fair to say that other rose’ producers work to create something close to Tavel. The quick story on this thing is that it’s lightly red (not pink, but just a couple shades under red) and it’s dry and it smells like rose petals, lemonade and something else that’s hard to place — It’s something like anise and pepper but in a really delicate and subtle way.
These wines bring something gorgeous to your glass. They are classic and, well, in a word, real. Tavel is clean and bright but also dark and sort of tempest-like. They run deep, if that makes any sense. I just love them. I won’t fuck around and try to lie about it: when I drink Tavel, I drink of the bottle mightlily and I feel as though, perhaps, I were in fact, drinking my noon-time glass of wine with the other French butchers at the market on any given Tuesday. I don’t even know if that’s a fair assumption to make (do they drink wine at that time? probably), but, well, it might be. Anyway, tonight brings me to a somewhat fluted bottle of Chateauu D’Aqueria 2001 Tavel. Mostly grenache and syrah with cinsault and mourvedre, this wine is made with the saignee method (by which grape skins are left in contact with grape juice to extract tannin and color and deeper flavor) and are great when drunk young and fresh but also rumoured to be delicious with some age. Not sure about the age thing but I am totally certain about the fresh and young situation. Tavel shines brightest when young, but for a strange reason: it already shows depth when young. It’s kind of like that girl you met in highschool, at someone’s party who was strange… smart, pretty, funny, sarcastic, kind of rude but really intense in a way. That’s Tavel, in general. It’s pretty. It’s neat. It’s all tucked up within itself and it practically reeks old-world character.
I haven’t experimented too much with food and Tavel but the marriage of these two seems ridiculously inevitable and fantastic. I can envision entire porterhouses washed down with a bottle of Tavel. Equally so, I see giant pizzas and, god help me, even a fucking NYC (or maybe, even, especially, a NOLA) hotdog with all the trimmings would work just insanely good.
Please introduce yourself to this wine. It’s one of the Rhone’s more unique offerings and the quality is pretty much always there.
And now for another glass…