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La Vieille Ferme Rose 2002
Jean Pierre Perrin established La Vieille Ferme over 35 years ago, when he chose to produce an inexpensive, straightforward Rhône wine to sell by direct mail to French wine lovers. He used the same grape varieties in similar proportions to those planted at the family's Château de Beaucastel, in a similar vinification process. The result was an immediate success in France, a wine of character and style in keeping with its Beaucastel heritage.
Initially, Jean Pierre made only Côtes du Rhône, but steeply rising grape prices in 1976 caused him to switch to Côtes du Ventoux and eventually to produce a white wine from the mountainous Côtes du Luberon. La Vieille Ferme was introduced to the United States in 1970. The response was an immediate, overwhelming acceptance and an outpouring of critical acclaim from eminently knowledgeable critics who recognized La Vieille Ferme for its consistently fine quality and value.
A small category representing the wines that either fall outside of appellation lines or don’t subscribe to the law and traditions set forth by the French government within certain classified appellations, “Vin de France” is a catch-all that includes some of the most basic French wines as well as those of superior quality. The category includes large production, value-driven wines. It also includes some that were made with a great deal of creativity, diligence and talent by those who desire to make wine outside of governmental restrictions. These used to be called Vin de Table (table wine) but were renamed to compete with other European countries' wines of similar quality.
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.