Chateau de Roquefort Grele Rose 2012
Rosé from Provence, France
July 1st, 2012, a hailstorm of incredible violence destroyed the totality of Chateau de Roquefort's 62 acres of vines. It only took 7 minutes for Raimond de Villeneuve to loose 100% of the 2012 harvest. Doubting the extend of the damage, neighbors and fellow growers stopped by and were stricken by what they saw. One of them offered part of his crop, followed by a second, then a third, some giving him a plot of vines, others grapes or must. An idea took root: creating a special cuvee, blending wine from diverse appellations in the Rhone and Provence, labelled under IGP Mediterranee.
International Wine Cellar - "A blend of carignan, cinsault, grenache, mourvedre, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, syrah and rolle. Pale orange. High-pitched aromas of orange zest, strawberry and white flowers, with a chalky mineral overtone. Delicate and precise on the palate, offering tangy citrus and red fruit flavors that put on weight with air. Shows impressive cut and lift on the spicy finish, with the mineral and floral notes echoing. "
Chateau de Roquefort Winery
Raimond de Villeneuve's impressively beautiful, biodynamic vineyard is literally situated in an amphitheater, thus having a very special microclimate. Chateau de Roquefort is at an altitude of 1000 feet, allowing later harvesting, which results in more freshness and greater phenolic maturity, and therefore more complexity than is usual in Provençal wines. The 25 hectare of vineyards are located on the edge of the Bandol appellation, just over the ridge so Mourvedre does not ripen here as well as at Bandol (it is a difficult grape to ripen) so it is not the focus. One third of the vines are over 40 years old, with the rest ranging between 15 and 40. De Villeneuve is well-educated, well-traveled and with previous experience in the trade working for Mommessin in Burgundy. This experience shows in the quality of the wines and the refined beauty of the package. He came back to his old family property in 1995 and began making and bottling wines under the Chateau name; previously the wines were sold in bulk. Raimond is a very open-minded winemaker and taster, always striving for quality and willing to honestly assess his wines. As well, he is always experimenting; he has even planted some Cabernet Franc.
His talent has been recognized by Michel Bettane, calling him one of the finest winemakers in Provence: "incontestably, one of the great hopes of the Cotes de Provence...the wines perfectly combine ample and intense fruit with a rich and silky body. The wines of Roquefort possess a hedonistic character that will make you immediately rejoice." View all Chateau de Roquefort Wines
About ProvenceGrenache and Cinsault. A move is being made to bring in more varieties, like Syrah, to increase the quality of the wines.
Notable FactsThe most important appellation is Côtes de Provence, where about 80% of the production is the typical style rose. Unfortunately, the easy-drinking aspect does not translate to the price – some of these wines are a bit pricey for drink-today wines. Some producers are making a shift to higher quality while others are selling their wines at a bargain. Either way, Côtes de Provence rose is a delicious match with any provence-style garlic-y cuisine. Other appellations to note include Bandol, Bellet, Les Baux-de-Provence, Cassis and Côteaux d'Aix-en-Provence. Though Côtes de Provence rules in amount of wine produced, the quality appellation to know is Bandol. Mostly red and mostly Mourvedre, the wines of Bandol are able to age a few years, like many a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but also enjoyed in their youth.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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