2016 Vouvray “Le Portail”Champalou
France | Loire
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Dominique Hauvette’s daring Petra reminds us that rosé should be about wine first and color second. This not-quite-pink beauty doesn’t neatly fit into the rosé category, with its late release, vinous texture, and deep aroma. The blend of Cinsault, Syrah, and Grenache is raised slowly in concrete eggs on fine lees to infuse the Provençal terroir. Why give more care and attention to a red wine than to a rosé? I say be audacious! Grab the decanter, let the wine breathe and evolve at the table, and experience what’s beyond the limits of pink.
|Blend:||70% Cinsault, 15% Syrah 15% Grenache|
|Appellation:||Baux de Provence|
|Vineyard:||15 years average, 1 ha|
|Aging:||Wine is raised in cement eggs|
Not far from Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a tourist town known for Roman ruins and as the place where Van Gogh painted “The Starry Night,” you’ll find Domaine Hauvette. Nestled among the foothills of Les Alpilles, the vines are surrounded by a rocky and wild landscape—the clay and limestone soil retains moisture for the arid summer months, the Mistral blows half the year, and <em>garrigue</em> is seemingly everywhere. It is here that in the early 1980s Dominique Hauvette, seeking more sunshine, left her job as a lawyer in the Savoie, re-discovered her passion for raising horses, and began studying oenology. Thirty-some years later and Dominique now has 17 hectares of vines and an international reputation for making benchmark natural wines.
I want you to realize once and for all: Even the winemaker does not know what aging is going to do to a new vintage; Robert Parker does not know; I do not know. We all make educated (hopefully) guesses about what the future will bring, but guesses they are. And one of the pleasures of a wine cellar is the opportunity it provides for you to witness the evolution of your various selections. Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.
Inspiring Thirst, page 171
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