DWWA 2013 International Trophies: Rosé Under £15
Commanderie de Peyrassol, Côtes de Provence, France 2012 (12.5%)
Expressive and charming aromas of ripe red cherries, raspberries, cranberries and violets. Very elegant and feminine on the palate, with refreshingly sweet fruit, subtle berry ripeness and a lingering, savoury finale.
UK £10.99; Maj
Tasted against • Lawson’s Dry Hills, Pinot Rosé, Marlborough, New Zealand 2012
Until last year, a rosé had never won a DWWA International Trophy, and now we are on our second. With Commanderie de Peyrassol and Château Routas (last year’s winner) both hailing from Provence, they are showing the world that, for quality rosé, this is still the region to beat.
This magnificent 850ha property lies near Flassans-sur-Issole in inland Provence, between Brignoles and Le Luc. It’s a former property of the Knights Templars and, following the French Revolution, it was owned for more than 200 years by the Rigord family, before being acquired by healthcare magnate Philippe Austruy in 2001. It’s now run by his nephew Alban Cacaret, and the family’s entrepreneurial streak is much in evidence: Austruy’s art collection is the basis for a sculpture park at the property, plus there’s a table d’hôte and restored stone cottages for guests.
‘We are thrilled to get this Trophy for our Commanderie rosé,’ says Cacaret, ‘as it is by far the most important wine we produce at the property.’
What’s the secret to making great rosé? ‘You have to think rosé, right from the vines onwards,’ he says, with the picking decision being particularly crucial. ‘If you leave it too late, your wine won’t have freshness; pick too soon, and you’ll miss out on the full aromatic spectrum.’
Pressing is another important stage – all the colour for this wine is extracted then, but each of the three varieties (Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache) needs a different approach. A cool fermentation and neutral storage before bottling follows. The aim is to preserve all of the prettiness and delicacy created in the vineyard and the press. Job done.