Tavel Trésor des Sables 2018
During my summers with my parents in the South of France, we don’t limit ourselves only to light and easy drinking rosés (most of the time that’s what we drink of course, due to summer meals and summer heat) but we also indulge in more serious wines. Tavel is the one I mean by « more serious ». This is not your refreshing rosé (vin de soif as we call all these light easy drinking rosés, meaning wines to drink when thirsty).
The Tavel wine is barely a rosé, neither in color nor in spirit. It’s called a rosé, classified as such (and the first rosé to receive an appellation — appellation of origin that is — in the early 20th century, a guarantee of higher quality in France) but in fact it’s not, it’s more than a simple rosé.
Yes it has a pink rosé color but way deeper than the regular rosé, it’s almost a pale red actually, even if it falls in the category of rosé wines. And in spirit it’s some serious wine that requires some serious food, something more than the grilled meat / salad type of meals we usually have during the summer season.
This past summer, I wanted to drink again some Tavel (we regularly have Tavel at one point in the summer) but this time from my favorite (absolute favorite) winery : this one is called a cave (a cellar) Les Vignerons de Tavel & Lirac, formerly La Cave des Vignerons de Tavel as it was called back in the day when I used to visit it, so the name stuck with me, I’ll always call it that way.
Their website : https://cave-tavel-lirac.fr
They produce the Tavel wine I used to drink when I was living in France. In those days we would stop by this cave in the Rhone Valley and buy some cases. I remember the last summer commute we had in 2001 when we bought a fair amount of bottles — those actually moved with us to the USA. In 2002 our moving schedule during that last summer in France didn’t allow us to actually go there and buy some more bottles. Unfortunately because I really wanted badly to slide some cases in the carton boxes from the moving company…
In 2013, while traveling through France with my parents, we stopped by the cave (we even got lost and had to use the car GPS to put us back — partly — on track and in the end I just recognized the facility when passing it on one of the roads we were scouting. We bought 3 cases at that time, one being the Cuvée Royale and 2 other ones. All excellent of course, the Cuvée Royale even more than excellent, of course too.
In 2014, at home in New Jersey, I found and opened the last bottle of Cuvée Royale that had moved with us in 2002 : it was a vintage 1999 ! I wrote about that experience in my writer’s blog (in French) that can be read here: https://michusa.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/tavel-la-cuvee-royale/
So I wanted to drink again those wines from Tavel from that precise winery, which is unfortunately a bit too far away from my parents’ home to make the trip : it’s a 3 hour trip, each way, roughly. Miracle of the Internet, we didn’t have to travel : this cave ships and for reasonable shipping costs. We ordered 3 cases with 3 different cuvées, 6 bottles each case, with one of them being the Cuvée Royale of course.
In this current review however, this is one of these other cuvées from les Vignerons de Tavel, one that I had never had before, under that name at least, called Trésor des Sables.
Tavel Trésor des Sables 2018
The vintage was 2018, it was also golden medal in the Orange wine contest in 2019 (Concours des Vins d’Orange — Orange being the city in the Rhone Valley). 14% vol.
Almost red in the bottle, ruby pink in the glass, very intense and deep pink leaning towards orange.
Nose is raspberry, redcurrant and of a full bodied wine (vineux).
In mouth, very fruity, a handful of fruit, raspberry being the major fruit. It almost feels like biting an actual raspberry, texture included. Slight bitterness in after mouth and more fruit: red fruit and almost a cherry lollipop taste in finale.
Excellent, as expected !
I am biased of course, I am biased. Tavel is my favorite wine (even though I don’t fancy that much the other Rhone Valley wines and also, generally speaking, I am more a red wine drinker even if I enjoy some rosés in season). And among the Tavel wine makers, this Cave des Vignerons de Tavel & Lirac is my favorite. And among their Tavel wines, the Cuvée Royale is my favorite of them all (review to come in this blog, we had it twice last summer).
I am biased said I, this wine brings back fond memories, I guess this is why this wine, as good as it is, actually ranks so high in my personal top wines : actually it ranks as first, among all the wines I love. I would be happy to have only this wine for the rest of my life, this is the one I would bring on a desert island if I were only allowed one. There are certainly better wines, more complex ones, in which you discover new tastes and nuances at every tasting, that you never end discovering in some ways. This is not one of those wines for sure. However this wine is about the memories. Memories of happy times, a happy period of my life. Memories make the wine also, and memories brought back by a certain wine, the Proust madeleine way, this is what drinking wine is all about, n’est-ce pas ?