I bet that 90% of you have not had a Tavel. A statement that is semantically, but nonsensically, equivalent to your left arm having had a Tavel, but the rest of your body not having done so.
More reasonably, Tavel wines are hard to find in Dallas/Fort Worth, so many readers will not have tasted one. I urge you to change that! Tavel is a village in the south of France near the town of Avignon. Oenologically, it is famous for making rosé wines of distinctive character when young and tremendous ageing potential. The major grape varieties are Grenache and Syrah, but in this region Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignan and more obscure varieties are also widespread.
This 2013 Domaine Moulin-la-Viguerie “Les Falaises de Braise”, Tavel ($17.99) is a good example of the wines of the area. It has a salmon color leaning towards orange tones. The unpronounced aroma exhibits ripe strawberries. In the mouth, this is a high acid wine with a medium body that contributes pleasant weight on the tongue. It has a fine sandpaper texture from its tannins. The strawberry fruit comes through again, as do some earthy herbal notes of thyme. It could do with a more lengthy finish than the medium length one that it offers.
The bottom line on Tavel wines is that they are so food-friendly. This one can go with everything from ham to duck, pasta with white sauce to pasta with red sauce. It can pair with rabbit or chicken. It is even great on its own.
This wine is available locally at the Lakewood wine store with the wacko name, The Wine Therapist,. Case discounts apply.
Disclosure: Sample bottles for this tasting were purchased at the retail price from The Wine Therapist. Sample tasting was provided by them as part of their regular consumer wine tasting program.