Relief from the sweltering heat can be found in a glass of 2009 Chateau de Roquefort Cotes de Provence Corail Rosé.
Provence is fields of lavender, hillside villages of stone buildings and clinging vineyards, winding roads leading to sandy beaches, and splashing colors of Van Gogh and Cezanne. It is also home to a delicious, authentic rose’ made by Raimond de Villeneuve Flayosc.
Chateau de Roquefort has been in Villeneuve Flayosc’s family since 1812. Dating to the Romans, the castle of Roquefort was a fort for Marseille and Cassis, and owned by the Lord of Baux and the bishop of Marseilles. In 1995, Villeneuve Flayosc, then 32, took responsibility for it from his grandfather.
He brought to his new endeavor a background in furniture-making and a degree from a Paris business school that landed him a job with the Mommessin winemaking family in Burgundy. But his real asset has been an open mind and a respect for his vineyards. “There is no miracle in my wine. It is the quality of the grapes”, he told me. From the outset, he used only organic methods in the vineyards. After plowing, manure replaced chemicals; protective grasses and insects took the place of insecticides. In his 50-acre vineyard, more than a third of the vines are older than 40-years.
Villeneuve Flayosc likes to name his wines for colors: The 2009 Corail Rose’, which means coral, is an eye-catching pink. It is made from a blend of approximately 35 percent grenache, 25 percent each of syrah and cinsault, with carignan, vermentino, and clairette filling in the rest. Following his commitment to organic winemaking, purchased yeast is avoided; the natural yeasts on the grape’s skin starts the fermentation.
After the pleasing color of the 2009 Chateau de Roquefort Cotes de Provence Corail Rose’, wine consumers are treated to a delicious strawberry and cherry scented-and flavored wine. Cotes de Provence rose’ regulations allow up to 3 grams of residual sugar, but the 2009 Corail Rose’ is a drier 2 grams, giving the wine a slight cranberry-like finish. The combination of ripe fruit and a crisp, clean finish is just what a wine should be on a summer day.
I enjoyed the 2009 Conrail Rose’ with a savory dish of pinoli nut-crusted scallops at the Gourmet Cafe, a delightful BYOB restaurant in Parsippany. It would also be perfect on the Jersey Shore with grilled bluefish, steamed mussels with garlic, and a plate of salami and grilled eggplant with tapenade. Or you can enjoy the 2009 Chateau de Roquefort Cotes de Provence Corail Rose’ while gazing across the ocean for those lavender fields.
The 2009 Chateau de Roquefort Cotes de Provence Corail Rose’ retails for approximately $17.