Never heard of Tavel? You’re not alone. Many people associate rosé with the light, crisp wines that have become synonymous with summertime. But there’s a rosé that’s perfect for fall and winter, too. Enter Tavel, a commune just across the Rhone river and west of Chateauneuf du Pape which, according to wine industry veteran Lars Guy, produces the best rosé.
“It’s no coincidence Tavel produces excellent rosé,” said Guy. “Under French law rosé is the ONLY wine allowed to be produced in Tavel,” he added. (Which is why referring to it as “Tavel Rosé” is redundant…) It stands to reason that Tavel producers would take their practices very seriously. “Tavel wines are deeper, richer and more complex expressions of rosé than those produced in Provence, France and throughout the world.” He suggests they’ll even improve in the bottle for several years following release, which is not always the case for lighter rosé wines.
Does Tavel pair well with food? Absolutely. According to Guy, “Tavel will stand up to a broad range of culinary expressions including duck, one of my favorite pairings.” His favorite Tavel is Chateau D’Aqueria, but he adds that any reputable wine shop like Ancona’s Wines & Liquors could make an excellent recommendation.