| CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES
Sablet Vieilles Vignes Rosé de Clairette
In the 1980's the American car manufacturer Oldsmobile ran an ad campaign with the tagline, "This is not your father's Oldsmobile." Well, Éric's Rosé de Clairette is not your father's Rosé! Forget what you know (or think you know) about Rosé because this crisp, dry, slightly tart Rosé is the perfect partner for summertime cuisine. Whether it's a day at the beach, a backyard bar-b-que or as an aperitif (try it with olives!) this is a perfectly balanced, refreshing Rosé that should not be missed.
Wines Éric's Clairette is a rosé de maceration made from a "gray" (light pink) grape. Often rosé's are made from the free run juice of a red grape, called rosé de saignée, and as a result the wine is not made from everything the grape has to offer. With Éric's rosé de maceration the wine is made just like a red wine - it is first de-stemmed, then fermented with the skins and finally pressed. The result is a wonderful, lively dry rosé with well-balanced acidity and nice ripe tannins that is refreshing and crisp. It is easy to drink and too easy to like. It should be served chilled (10 C/ 55F) and should be enjoyed in its youth.
Vineyards Éric's 80+ year old ungrafted Clairette Rosé vines are located on the côteau just behind the ancient village of Sablet on a northwest-facing hillside. From the vineyard, the view of the entire Southern Rhône valley is simply breathtaking. The vines are planted 3000 vines per hectare.
Terroir Located 30 kilometers east of Orange, Sablet is tucked between Séguret and Gigondas with the Detelles de Montmirail looming over the vineyards. The sandy soil is pure limestone with yellow, earthy jagged rocks of various sizes and as the vineyard climbs the côteau less clay is found. Because of the large amount of sand in the soil, there is little risk of phylloxera and thus the vines are not grafted to American rootstock.
The climate is Mediterranean with the exception that le mistral will
blow her gusts. Nights and early mornings are often very cold with intense
heat in the afternoon.
Côtes du Rhône Villages
In 1953 four villages in the Southern Rhône were making wines considered
to be of higher quality than those usually produced under the generic
Côtes du Rhône label. These four villages - Cairanne, Laudun,
Chusclan and Gigondas were not considered to be ready for full appellation
status (like those of Châteauneuf du Pape, Côte Rotie, Hermitage,
etc.) but were certainly superior to the many Côtes du Rhône
wines produced. Therefore the INAO (National Institute of Appellations
of Origin) decided that if these villages followed agreed upon rules they
would create a new status to identify their higher quality wines. Rules
were laid out that governed grape varieties, yields per hectare and the
minimum alcohol strength of their red wines raised from 11% to 12.5%.
Producers following these rules were then allowed to market their wine
as Côtes du Rhône - "Cairanne" for example and therefore
to promote the distinctive characteristics of their local terroir. After
two additional villages joined this illustrious group (Vacqueyras in 1955
and Vinsobres in 1957) a common title was created in 1967 to apply to
all of the wines: Côtes du Rhône Villages. Today there are
16 villages with this status
2001 began with a mild winter that was followed by a warm and wet spring with above average temperatures. Flowering started towards the beginning of May and June and July continued to be warm with heavy rainfall in July. August was hot and dry with temperatures reaching 33°C resulting in the grapes reaching a good maturity. September brought le mistral, which continued for nearly 2 weeks. Harvest commenced the first week of September.
© 2003 Éric Texier