The Courier-Mail - QWeekend
Is this poetry in a bottle?
This is not a bad time of the year to drink rose. The better examples are delicate and thirst- quenching, with flavours from strawberry sorbet to raspberry and blueberry.
Pale pink La Chapelle Gordonne 2018 Rose ($30) begins as a subtle rose with aromas of red fruit and dried flowers. Then you discover an underlying complexity and the counterbalancing pink grapefruit note. La Chapelle was partly fermented in French oak and finishes with a faintly creamy texture.
The winemaker’s tasting notes are amusing French hyperbole: He speaks of a “very rich mineral quality in a poetic evocation of the sun rising over the Provence garrigue on a summer day”.
Visitors to this part of France know garrigue refers to the wild, low-growing juniper, thyme, rosemary and lavender bushes hugging the limestone hills.
You only have to wind down the window to smell herbs de Provence as you drive past.
The La Chapelle is one of a “portfolio” of rose imports from Chateau la Gordonne, one of the largest properties in Provence with more than 300ha under vine. Varieties include grenache, syrah, cinsault, cabernet sauvignon, mourvedre, tibouren, rolle, and semillon.
Three of the main varieties blended to make rose are grenache, syrah and cinsault, and all three are blended in La Chapelle. Alive with delicate fruit flavours, and sometimes with a welcome, chalky minerality, rose is the summer quaffer. Most of the world thinks so, too, with sales soaring globally. There are several different styles worth exploring in the Chateau la Gordonne range, priced from $20-30.
Chateau la Gordonne Verite Du Terroir 2018 Rose is another harmonious blend of the three varieties. Bright pink, it’s a match for cheese, poultry and spicy foods.