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Chateau La Gordonne Rose 2013
In 1300, the Carthusians from the La Verne monastery near Pierrefeu du Var began working the vineyard. Sully, a fine connoisseur, stayed at La Gordonne several times, although it was known as ‘La Mayon d'Aurran’ at the time. The estate was planted with vines and olive trees, and took its name from Conseiller de Gourdon, who owned it from 1650 to 1663. Then in 1663, the Conseiller de Dedons, Lord of Pierrefeu, bought part of the Aurran property known as ‘La Gordonne’ and its house, vines, and olive trees.
In 1754, the Dedons family, now Marquis de Pierrefeu, still owned the estate. Records of a new owner, the Bishopric of Toulon, can be found just before the French Revolution in 1789. In 1850, the Château and its outbuildings were completely restored. In 1922, Mr Grimaud, a genuine wine producer who had become owner of the property, started selling Château La Gordonne wine, renowned for its richness and its intensity, in the Toulon market.
The Chateau has been selling its wines ever since. With the extremely high quality of its wines and the creation of the La Chapelle Gordonne cuvee, Chateau La Gordonne is now entering a new stage towards its international recognition.
More than just a European vacation hotspot and the rosé capital of the world, Provence is a coastal, southeastern French appellation increasingly producing interesting wines of all colors. The warm, breezy Mediterranean climate is ideal for grape growing and the diverse terrain and soil types allow for a variety of wine styles within the region. Adjacent to the Rhône Valley, Provence shares some characteristics with its northwestern neighbor—namely, the fierce Mistral wind and the plentiful wild herbs (such as rosemary, lavender, juniper and thyme) often referred to as ‘garrigue.’ The largest appellation here is Côtes de Provence, followed by Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence.
Provence is internationally acclaimed for its dry, refreshing, pale-hued rosé wines, which make up the vast majority of the region’s production. These are typically blends, often dominated by Mourvèdre and supplemented by Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren, and other varieties.
A small amount of full-bodied, herbal white wine is made here—particularly from the Cassis appellation, from Clairette and Marsanne. Other white varieties used throughout Provence include Roussane, Sémillon, Vermentino (known locally as Rolle) and Ugni blanc.
Perhaps the most interesting wines of the region, however, are the red wines of Bandol. Predominantly Mourvèdre, these are powerful, structured, and ageworthy wines with lush berry fruit and savory characteristics of earth and spice.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. It is produced throughout the world from a vast array of grape varieties, but the most successful sources are California, southern France (particularly Provence), and parts of Spain and Italy.
Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color will depend on the grape variety and the winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta. These wines are typically fresh and fruity, fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to preserve the primary aromas and flavors. Most rosé, with a few notable exceptions, should be drunk rather young, within a few years of the vintage.