In the glass, Prieure de Montezargues Tavel Rose is a pretty pale pink with violet glints. The nose is intense with notes of grapefruit, pear and red fruits: cherry and raspberry. A nice crisp mouth; round and full bodied, with a nice balance and a velvety feel. The finish is long with hints of peach and red fruit.
Prieure de Montezargues Winery
Near Tavel, concealed by a forest of Holm oaks and Scots pine, and protected from the Mistral by the Montagne Noire ("Black Mountain"), Montezargues Priory quietly ripens its grapes on sandy slopes that run down to Pujaut Pond.
Welcome to the land of Rosé. Tavel is the only AOC in France to produce only rosé wines. And these rosé wines are dry – bone dry. Tavel is situated in the Gard district to the left of the Rhone River (called Right bank of the Rhone). The wines are best drunk young and cold, and while they won't give you lots of depth and complexity, they do offer classic, refreshing dry roses for summer drinking.
Grenache reigns as the primary varietal for the Tavel blends. Cinsault, Mourvedre, Syrah & a few other Rhone varieties are often used in smaller amounts. Flavors found in good Tavel wines are spice & berries - nothing reminiscent of the sweet rosés you used to find in the US. Perfect for a hearty meal on a hot night, or an apéritif on a warm afternoon.
About France - Other regions
When 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.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.