The last rays of the summer sun can be captured in a glass of the 2008 Chateau de Pourcieux Rosé.
I have to confess that until recently, I considered rosé wines something not to be considered at all. You poured them in the heat of summer and drank them while concentrating on the shimmering sea, or what was on the grill, or the pleasure of a light lunch under the umbrella’s shade.
But rosé and I have changed. Rosé has changed because winemakers began giving it the same attention they bestowed on their white and red wines. Some rosés are still made with second-rate red grapes, or as a byproduct using the inferior method of “bleeding,” a process of siphoning some red wine juice during the first hours of fermentation. Such methods are not for Chateau de Pourcieux’s rosé.
For more than two centuries, Chateau de Pourcieux has been owned by the family of the Marquis d’Espagnet. Pourcieux is a tiny village next to picturesque Aix-en-Provence, near the mountain range Sainte-Victoire, made famous by Cezanne. Since 1986, the estate, now one of France’s historic monuments, has been directed by Michel d’Espagnet, and its wines made by Jean-Christophe de Boisgelin and Bernadette Tourell.
Boisgelin and Tourell made the 2008 rosé from a blend of 60 percent syrah, and 20 percent each of grenache and cinsault, all first-tier grapes cultivated only with organic fertilizers. Fermentation was in temperature-controlled tanks, and the rosé matured for a few months in neutral vats to preserve the natural flavors and acidity. This dedication from vineyard through winemaking is why the 2008 Chateau de Pourcieux Rosé deserves attention.
Its clear poached-salmon color and strawberry, cherry and orange zest aromas are immediately pleasing. Cherry and strawberry-like flavors mingle in the classic medium-light body. The freshness of the 2008 Chateau de Pourcieux is maintained by its 12.5-percent alcohol, a quantity that rarely should be exceeded if rosé is to be balanced and pleasant.
We can hope for an Indian summer, but if it doesn’t arrive, the 2008 Chateau de Pourcieux Rosé will still be an enjoyable aperitif, and a friend to scallops, roasted chicken and the first fall root vegetables.
The 2008 Chateau de Pourcieux Rosé retails for approximately $13.