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Walls: Tavel and its unexpected revolution

Matt Walls visits the renowned rosé-only appellation to discover a wave of dynamic, quality-focused producers who have returned Tavel to its roots with startling results.

When asked which is the most exciting appellation in the Rhône, there’s one that currently springs to mind before all others: Tavel.

I have to be honest with you: I don’t buy much rosé. So, given that Tavel is, according to The Oxford Companion to Wine, ‘one of France’s few all-rosé appellations,’ my response might be unexpected.

The Oxford Companion is technically correct, of course – the wines made here are paler than a typical red wine. But compared to other rosés, that’s where the comparison ends.

First and foremost, Tavel is a great terroir, and great terroirs make profound wines, no matter the colour.

That’s not to say that all Tavel is great – far from it. But there’s a growing band of winemakers, led by a visionary by the name of Eric Pfifferling, which is dragging Tavel out of the blind alley in which it had found itself.

Scroll down for tasting notes and scores of 12 fabulous Tavel wines

See Matt Walls’ tasting notes and scores for 12 top Tavel wines:

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