Christie Kiley on March 16, 2015 1 Comment Let’s talk Rose. This is one shade of wine which I have not touched on in a while and it deserves some attention. Please do refrain from calling it ‘blush’. This is one term which should be left behind in the eighties along with Lycra pants. Unfortunately, those shiny, spandex pants have found their way back into the fashion scene. Can we not make the mistake of bringing back the other? What is a Rose? Well, it is refreshing, it can be fruity, and they can even be sweet. However, I tend to venture more towards the drier styles. It is an underestimated style of wine. If people knew the substantial ‘power’ a Rose had, they would be drinking more of it. You can serve it nicely chilled which is a nice bonus for warmer weather when white wine has lost its luster and it has enough character to pair well with more substantial foods. So without further ado, I will introduce our wine this week, the 2013 Miraval Rose. Pop History You might have heard of Miraval? Back in about 2008 it made some headlines when Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie leased the property for three years with a later option to buy. They are now the current owners and were even married in the chapel of the Chateau just last August. There is no surprise why they bought the property other than its history in making great wines. The estate’s home has a total of thirty-five rooms and is surrounded by many gardens, fountains, aqueducts of the ancient Rome era, a pond, the aforementioned chapel, and a castle would not be complete without a moat. More so than its ancient Roman history with many of their remnants left behind, the estate has quite the impressive pop-culture history. Long before going under ownership of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, it was owned by a French jazz pianist, Jacques Loussier who installed a recording studio there. The Cranberries have recorded there, as has Sting, Sade, The Gipsy Kings and even Pink Floyd, who put down tracks for their timeless The Wall album. It was the recent American owner, Tom Bove whom purchased the property in 1993 that modernized the vineyards and a few other additional amenities. This historical site, following the occupation of the Romans and then the Celtics, was used as a quiet property for monks and religious practice. It has also been the playing grounds for the French court in the fourteenth century who listed the chateau as on their list of ‘Noble Homes’. The Vines It is located one of the more famous and well-recognized AOCs of rose wine in France, Provence and the vineyards of Mirabelle more specifically reside in the Coteaux Varios appellation. The estate consists of a total of one-thousand acres with about sixty-some of them dedicated to the vine. The vines themselves are cultivated in well-drained soils—in ancient stepped terraces that surround the property—mainly consisting of chalk that live at about three-hundred fifty meters above sea level. The chalky soils do drain well, however they also have the ability to retain the ideal amount of water throughout the growing season, allowing for a more even maturation of their fruit and no need for irrigation techniques. The vines are also one-hundred percent organically farmed without the use of any pesticides or chemicals. This ensures not only the quality of the wine, but also the sustainability of the property for years to come. The fruit is harvested by hand and once it reaches the winery, it goes through a hand-sorted selection process, ensuring only the best fruit will be used for the wine. Miraval has even teamed up with the winery team of Perrin who is known for making quality French wine for generations. The Perrin team works with Miraval on the viticulture side and during harvest to select only the best fruits. The Wine The winemakers of Miraval like to show off their terroir in their wines and this is no exception. The wine is a beautiful light pink hue and the aromas are fresh or bright raspberry, strawberry, Bing cherry and even a hint of peach. The minerality and chalk of their signature soils even come through a little on the nose. The wine was fermented in stainless steel vats using the bleeding method so as to extract the desired color from the grapes’ skins and then drained off to be sent to another tank for further vinification. The wine is a balanced and rustic blend of Cinsault, Rolle, Syrah and Grenache. On the palate the wine is just as pleasant and inviting as it is in its perfume with flavors of fresh berry and a bright acidity to carry them long on your palate with a perfect balance of minerality and lingering, mouth-watering citrus fruit characteristics.