2018 Chateau Peyrassol, Rosé “Cuvee de la Commanderie de Peyrassol” Cotes de Provence, France.
The famous Cotes de Provence winery, Chateau Peyrassol, is located in the hills of the Var, north of St. Tropez and Hyères between the villages of Le Luc and Flassans-sur-Issole and are well known for their top notch dry Rosé. This tranquil and picturesque spot is home to vineyards planted to primarily Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah used in the Rosé bottlings, but also with an interesting mix of other varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Rolle (Vermentino), Uni Blanc, Semillon and Clairette Blanc. The current release of the Rosé, 2018 is a beautiful vintage for this in demand wine, one of the finest I’ve tried from this estate in fact, in particular I love this Cuvee de la Commanderie, the work horse wine of the domaine. Like all of the Rosés of Peyrassol this one was made in the direct press method, with maceration and fermentation being done with cool temperatures. According to the winery and importer Rosenthal Wine Merchant, this winemaking process gives the Rosés of Peyrassol their beautiful watermelon, and delicate salmon pink color. The fermentation is exceptionally long, resulting in rosés that are both lively, fresh and full-bodied and complex, as this one shows with its layers of tart cherry, the mentioned watermelon, strawberry and citrusy crisp fruits along with a steely/mineral character as well as having a wet stone, dried lavender and rosewater elements.
The Chateau Peyrassol, as it has been known since 2001, is one of the longest running domaines in the region being first established in the middle of the 1200s, when it was founded by the Knights of Templar, it rests near the sea and is surrounded by a beautiful Mediterranean forest, with Eighty hectares planted to vineyards which are cultivated on the dry, rocky clay and limestone based soils. Many centuries of history have happened here, but it was until the Rigord family, who bought the property in 1870, decided to market and bottle estate wines, in 1981 that any serious attention was paid to this unique estate, originally known as Commanderie de Peyrassol as tribute to the crusading knights that the property served. Now the wines are some of the most respected and sought after in Provence, especially their Cotes de Provence Rosé, like this one, and Philippe Austruy, the currant owner, who has aggressively invested in this exceptional property, modernizing the cellars runs the Chateau with his nephew Alban Cacaret in charge of the day to day and overseeing the winemaking. I also really like the Blanc and Rouge (made from Cabernet and Syrah) a lot, though the Rosé is certainly the most charming and delicious of the wines and they go great with and without food, though they take on a more serious tone and fill out on the palate with food, I especially enjoy them with seafood like mussels in a Mediterranean inspired spicy broth.
($22 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive