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Domaine Lafond Roc-Epine Tavel Rose 2010
The only all-rosé appellation in the Rhone, a Tavel comes in many hues from light salmon to bright pink and is said to be the only rosé that can actually age—and improve. The rosé wines of Tavel have a great historic reputation, having been favored by King Louis XIV in the 18th century, as well as famous authors, Balzac and Mistral.
Tavel are always dry but the high percentage of the fruity Grenache (30-60% of the blend by law) and even Cinsault, give charming aromas and flavors that make them feel "almost sweet." A great Tavel rosé will have a bouquet suggestive of rose petals, apricot, strawberry and red currant. The palate may be fleshy, round and layered but is always fresh and balanced.
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.