Chateau La Roque Pic Saint-Loup Rose 2017
A perfect accompaniment for grilled meat, escalope of veal in a cream sauce, barbecued Mediterranean fish, crêpes stuffed with cep mushrooms and fine charcuterie.
The picturesque landscape surrounding historic Chateau La Roque appears largely unchanged from how it must have been two thousand years ago. Ownership has changed hands many times since the Romans were first here, yet the soul of this special place remains in tact. Benedictine Monks created the sturdy vaulted-ceiling cellars that still house the bottles today. Winegrowing resumed in the 13th century when the de la Roque brothers planted new vines. Today, Chateau La Roque is in the capable hands of Cyriaque Rozier. This is unique terroir. Garrigue, the aromatic scrub brush that dominates the land, asserts its presence among the vines. In the wise words of KLWM salesperson/legend, Michael Butler, “Lay down a few cases of history.”
Pic Saint-Loup is defined by the Pic Saint-Loup Mountain in its center as well as Montagne de l’Hortus, a long ridge of Jurassic limestone rising over 2,000 feet some 15 miles inland from the Mediterranean. Elevated from the coastal plains, Pic Saint-Loup’s 1,000 hectares of vineyards on well-drained, limestone-based soils, are blessed with cooler nights, allowing low yields and grapes to fully ripen while retaining acidity. The region supports many different grape varieties since it is spread over a number of elevations and microclimates.
Approved only for reds and rosés, Pic Saint-Loup wines aim for complex, earthy elegance, and are worth putting down for a few years. The southern French trio Grenache, Syrah and Mourvédre must constitute 90% of the red blends. Cherry, plum and berry fruit pick up spicy, herbal overtones from the surrounding garrigue, giving the wines a great balance of power and delicacy. Pic St Loup rosés, often containing a good dollop of Mourvédre, show more grip and color than many southern French pinks; the best ones can age with grace for five years or more.
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. 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 depends on grape variety and winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta.