2023 Château d’Aquéria Tavel Rosé, Rhône Valley, France (Alcohol 13.5%, Residual Sugar 2 g/l) LCBO Vintages $24.95 (750ml bottle)

Although I tend to drink rosé throughout the colder months, I always enjoy welcoming the new vintages of pink wine each and every springtime. This Tavel from the historied house of Château d’Aquéria is a perennial favourite of mine, and I’m rather surprised that I, personally, have never written about it previously over the last 15 years on this website.

Produced from six varieties of both red and white grapes (50% Grenache Noir, 20% Syrah, 10% Clairette, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Bourboulenc, 5% Cinsault), and aged in a combination of stainless steel and concrete, there’s a consistent freshness present in this wine from vintage to vintage, setting it apart from so many of the other Tavels in the market.

As is the case with many of the better Tavels, the 2023 Château d’Aquéria pours an intense, deeply coloured pink that shows more like a lighter red than a rosé. To be honest, the same goes for the wine both in the bouquet and in the mouth, and this is an extremely generous and giving rosé, meaning that pairing can expand upon the usual seafood and Bouillabaisse, even straying into grilled meats such as pork chops and chicken. I tried this with duck breasts the other day and it was fantastic.

On the nose, there is a torrent of ripe red Rhône Valley fruit: strawberries, red cherries, and raspberries, all wrapped up in a peppery florality with a defined touch of petrichor and a deep vein of garrique herbal (rosemary/thyme/lavender) It’s irresistible in so many ways.

The plate is mouthfilling and surprisingly broad for a rosé, with the higher alcohol adding to the body. The herbal/stone finish is pronounced and extended, finishing off a wonderfully satisfying glass of traditional Tavel, just the way it should be.

A truly delightful glass of wine that is a million miles removed from the lighter rosé styles found elsewhere in France. Sure, I’m usually drawn to those delicate wines, but I can really appreciate what is going on here in the glass.

There is a little in the LCBO system right now, but there are 700 cases released on May 11th, so there’s lots to go around!

(Four and a half out of a possible five apples)


Château d’Aquéria are represented in Ontario by Noble Estates.

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