There is little argument that the roses of Tavel are as good as rose can get. Back in the 1970s the Wine of the Month was featuring roses from Tavel long before it was popular. The wines were, and still are, out of this world.
The chateau was founded in 1931 by Charles Brotte in Chateauneuf du Pape, which was barely a ripple in the wine ocean. Since then, of course, it has become one of the most famous wines of the world. Tavel is within the appellation of Chateauneuf du Pape where only rose is produced. It was the French playwright, Balzac, who first crowed the roses of Chateauneuf du Pape as the "King of roses" in the early 1800s.
Suffice to say that producers, like Brotte, have a lot to live up to. Today the holdings are run by Laurent Brotte, the grandson of the founder. They now own several estates in the Southern Rhone and are sold in 95 countries and five continents around the world.
The grapes are gently crushed and left on the skins for up to 12 hours to attain that lovely blush of color. They are then separated from the skins and left to finish fermentation in very cold vats to allow the lilting flavors to develop.
The result is spectacular rose featuring wild strawberry and cherry blossom paired with a spectacular floral component and an ingratiating finish punctuated by lime zest. Matching with an ahi tuna salad or orange chicken would be otherworldly..