What do you get when you combine one of the best wine regions in the world with one of the best winemakers in the world? You get this rosé, and it is brilliant.
Producer: Domaine Les Pallières
Region: Gigondas, Southern Rhône Valley, France
Grape(s): Clairette, Grenache, Cinsault
Tasting Notes: Lemon peel, tangerine, red berries, white peach, steely minerality
Pairings: Literally everything, but especially the beach.
Price (approximately): $18
Buy: Fujioka's Wine Times
This wine combines so many of my favorite things. It hails from one of my favorite regions in the world, Southern Rhône, and is carefully crafted by one of my favorite winemakers, Daniel Brunier! How can we go wrong with this superstar combination?!?
I first met Daniel at the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival, where he showcased his flagship Châteauneuf-du-pape Domaine, Vieux Télégraphe, in a vertical tasting seminar. Daniel’s wit and wisdom displayed a passionate and long-standing family tradition of winemaking in the Rhône Valley. I also resonate with his “no pipes, no pumps, no screws” motto that concisely conveys his attempt to ensure “maximum wine in the wine.” Grapes, not gimmicks, guarantee good wine. The result is a consistently beautiful expression of this classic French winemaking philosophy.
Reaching beyond his home in the New Castle of the Pope, Daniel found an exciting, new venture in the neighboring Gigondas appellation. Domaine Les Pallières, a working farm since the Fifteenth Century, found distinction over time for producing wines of impeccable character. Unfortunately, a series of events and neglect resulted in the Domaine falling into disrepair. While the farm goats offered no complaints, wine production struggled. Here, Daniel and his business partner, Kermit Lynch, found opportunity. Brunier and Lynch purchased the Domaine in 1998, and the Pallières revival began in haste.
A mere 10 miles from the famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the village of Gigondas extends from the plain east of the Ouvèze River up to the Dentelles de Montmirail, a wondrous tableau of jagged limestone hills. Gigondas enjoys a cooler climate than its more famous neighbor due to higher altitude and a steady Mistral wind that blows down the valley. Domaine du Pallières cultivates vineyards on the slopes of the Dentelles de Montmirail that range between 250 and 400 meters in altitude. Sand and clay mixed amongst the limestone yields a wine of structure and excellent minerality.
This wine is dry, elegant, and wonderfully structured, with fruit taking a back seat to citrus (lemon peel, tangerine) and steely mineral elements. As the wine warms and opens, red berry fruit and white peach provide a sweet balance to the dry and crisp body. Overall, a delightfully refreshing rosé just in time for the warming weather!
In Honolulu, pick up a bottle for only $18 at Fujioka's Wine Times.