2017 Chateau Peyrassol, Rosé, Cuvee La Commanderie de Peyrassol, Cotes de Provence, France.
Commanderie de Peyrassol, founded by the Knights Templar who were dedicated to protecting the Crusaders on way to and back from the wars, with their first recorded harvest taking place back in 1256, and the winemaking has continued uninterrupted throughout that history to now. The Winery has been owned by an array of historical figures as well as the Knights of Malta and then the state after the French Revolution with the Rigord family buying the estate in 1870 and making it a successful winery, but it’s current reputation for quality took off when Philippe Austruy bought Commanderie and put his nephew in charge, rebranding the property as Chateau Peyrassol. Chateau Peyrassol is located in the hills of the “arriére pays” (back country) near Var, just north of St. Tropez and Hyères, in between the villages of Le Luc and Flassans-sur-Issole in the heart of Provence set on the classic rocky terroir with clay and limestone soils. The property makes some big and powerful reds with Syrah and Cabernet grapes, but it’s their Mediterranean kissed Rosé that always appeals and is their most popular wine made from mostly Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah, though they can have a touch of Tibouren, the ancient Provencale native grape. This beautiful and crisply dry Rosé by Peyrassol was crafted with the direct press method, allowing for the delicate light color, then the grapes undergo a cold maceration before being pressed off, this fermentation takes place in stainless steel with cooling jackets (temperature controlled) and it is exceptionally long, resulting in a Rosé that is both fresh and persistent. Bright and vigorous the 2017 version is medium bodied and lengthy while still being delicately detailed and wonderfully focused with tangy cherry, strawberry and watermelon layers on the palate along with lively acidity, citrus, mineral notes and rosewater. This is a perfect Rosé for any occasion, fun, but serious with lots of Provence character and class, and at almost half the price of Tempier these days, it offers some value for it’s quality, drink up.
($23 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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