Wines from Tavel represent more sturdy and concentrated versions of rosé. Rosés from Provence are considered by many to be archetypal for lighter, more elegant styles of rosé, but certainly do not hold a monopoly on dry rosé production. I am a steadfast supporter of clean rosé styles, but a recent bottle of Tavel reminde me of the splendidness of subtly richer styles of the stuff.
Tavel is an appellation for dry rosés located in the southern Rhône Valley. If you are acquainted with the dry reds of the southern Rhône, you will likely recognize them as sturdy and concentrated, typified by ripe flavors. Tavel Rosés are similar for the ways they contrast Provencal rosés in both color and taste. Grenache and Cinsault are the two principal varieties used to make rosés in Tavel, each of which maintains a reputation for producing wines of great power and weight. This may be a bit of a generalization, but in my experience a shopper examining a bottle of Grenache in a store should look elsewhere if she desires a restrained wine.
The 2015 Domaine des Muretins rosé is a quality example of what the region has to offer. While some critics bemoan the occasional bloated price points for these wines, this bottle seems to average right around the $20 marker. (The Twisted Vine retails this bottle for $19.99.) This particular wine is a relatively new venture for the producer, but doesn’t show any infantile faults or growing pains. With just the right balance of red fruit flavors and acidity, this is a quality bottle that should be enjoyable from now until the end of the holiday season.