Monday, November 16, 2020

When it rains, we pour -- A look at Chateau Peyrassol Rose

Was a soggy few days last few days here in Happy Valley. Typically, I’d be dipping deep into richer reds as the chill of winter starts to come on, but I’m not going to pass up an opportunity to continue my passionate advocacy for Rosé All Day just because the weather’s getting colder.

Honestly, I have no issue with rosé during the winter months. As an aperitif, I’d prefer to drink rosé than many whites when a chill is in the air, especially if I’ve got some meats and cheeses to snack on.

Drinkerbell, the wine fairy, brought along a bottle of Château Peyrassol 2019 Côtes de Provence Rosé during the soggy slog of last week. This bottle from Provence is a lovely reminiscence of summer, as well as a darned good food wine.

The Chateau itself has a fascinating history. Founded in the 13th century by the Knights Templar, the Chateau originally was a major way station for pilgrims traveling to the Holy Land (we will avoid subsequent discussions of the Crusades, however). After the French Revolution, the land was acquired by the Rigord family, where the wives ran the winemaking aspects of the estate through the following couple of centuries. Philip Austruy purchased the property in 2001 and revamped the winemaking operation.

Made from grapes from the oldest vines on the Chateau’s property, this blend of Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Ugni Blanc and Rolle (the last is better known as Vermentino), is a pale, rosy pink in the glass. The freshness inherent of a lot of Provence rosé hops right out of the glass at first sniff with aromas of lemon, orange blossom, and peach. These flavors carry straight through to the crisp, pleasant palate.

One criticism I have of some rosés is that they try for “fresh” and land on “acid bomb” instead. Not the case here. This wine has great balance between acidity and round mouthfeel. The finish is fresh, clean, with a lingering citrus flavor. Such a nice wine to just sip on, honestly.

As I mentioned, we tried this with a charcuterie board of salami, Marcona almonds, and Manchego cheese and it made a lovely companion to the starter. The chicken for dinner, roasted with a paprika-based spice paste, was a bit too assertive for the delicacy of this wine (Luckily, we had a nice bottle of Beaujolais in reserve!) – so if you’re having it with food, I’d probably stick to fish or a lighter meat preparation.

Or, you could pop and pour it in front of a fire and imagine how good it will feel once the weather warms and we can start being outside again. We’re going to need these kinds of reminders to get through the winter together in one piece.

This wine retails for $18-22. If you’re interested in spending a little more on a nice bottle of rosé, it’s certainly in that category.

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