2019-C Chateau de Montfaucon Lirac Rose, Rhone Valley, France (750ml)
A Seasonal Rosé Wine Club Selection
A few shades darker than most rosés, this beauty from Lirac is deep pink in hue with blood orange highlights. The inviting nose reveals aromas of fresh red fruits and soft, wet clay. The palate is full of Bing cherry, red plum and raspberry. It has a ﬂeshy body with refreshing acidity and an lengthy ﬁnish. The mouthfeel is substantial but with great minerality, resulting in a wine with remarkable balance.
The history of Château de Montfaucon dates back to the 11th century when the castle’s ﬁrst tower was built. The castle’s role in the region was strategic, as the Rhône River was the border between the French Kingdom and the Holy Roman German Empire. Montfaucon was one of a line of castles and fortresses along the river constructed to guard the border, and later to tax ships carrying goods up and down the Rhône. In 1737 the ﬁrst eleven towns forming La Côte du Rhône, including Montfaucon, decided to protect the quality of their wine by forbidding grapes from outside the towns to enter the blends. This can be considered one of the ﬁrst attempts to establish a protected appellation of origin.
Fast-forward to the 20th century. Following his agriculture studies in France and California at UC Davis, Rodolphe de Pins began making wines at the renowned estates of Henschke in Barossa Valley, Australia, and Vieux Telegraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In 1995 he took over the Montfaucon estate, rebuilding the winery and making his ﬁrst vintage of Château de Montfaucon.
“From the vineyards to the cellar we work delicately and with maximum care to preserve the quality and purity of the fruit. All grapes are picked by hand, and to enhance the balance of the wine, we co-ferment up to ﬁve varieties in the same tank. This increases the exchange and integration of different grapes during the important fermentation time. By controlling temperature and time on skins (typically 8 to 14 days) only soft and silky tannins are extracted.”
This delightful rosé is a blend of 30% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 25% Mourvèdre, 10% Carignan, 10% Clairette. It is part “saignée” (free run juice), with a maximum of 18 hours maceration time, and part direct press. After racking off the gross lees the juice was fermented at 65°F, a higher temperature than other rosé wines, the goal being to provide mid-palate weight while maintaining an elegant structure. The fermentation lasted a total of 13 days. Post fermentation the wine was left on the lees in concrete tanks for 5 months to enhance the body and texture. After a light ﬁltration bottling took place in early February with minimal sulfur added.