The birth of the Pétale de Rose
Once upon a time, a young winemaker, Régine Sumeire wanted to create a pale rosé wine. She had the idea to vinify red grenache by pressing the entire grapes using a Champagne coquard press. The resulting juice that flew from the press had a pale color. The difference was noticeable with a deeper than usual length in the mouth. This is the way the Pétale de Rose was born in 1985, recognized as the first pale rosé in Provence, vinified at Château Barbeyrolles. This vinification method was then used at Château la Tour de l’Evêque to produce a cuvée with the same name.
Régine Sumeire, now the third generation of the Sumeire family, assures the continuity of her family’s work. She likes to say that it is her father who taught her gestures and care of the vineyard. The same father who said to her that he had lived a working life in accordance with her grandfather and who knew how to perfectly reproduce this model with his daughter. The passion for winemaking they both instilled in Régine Sumeire still motivates her today.
Summary: The vineyards have shaley soils derived from silurian layers and Permian red sandstone. They are worked by hand, using natural animal fertilizers. Green manure seeding after harvest.
Vinification: All grapes are harvested manually, sorted, not de-stemmed and directly loaded into a hydraulic Champagne Coquard press without crushing. The grapes are lightly pressed to obtain optimum delicacy and flavor from the very heart of the grapes. Wines ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel, gravity-fed cuves. The Pétale de Rose is exclusively made of first quality juices. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation and is bottled at the Château la Tour de l’Evêque.
Vintage Notes: A rainy fall allowed the water reserves from the soil to be replenished. The winter was mild and dry, leading to an advance of the vegetative cycle with early budbreak starting on March 11th. The vines located in Pierrefeu suffered from a historic frost on March 26th. Milder temperatures did not begin until May and flowering began on May 13th on the Grenaches in Hyères and it went normally, with no noticeable coulure, or prevention of the proper flower fertilization. The hot and dry weather of July, combined with the good water reserves, contributed to the good development of the vines during summer. The harvest started on August 17th and finished on September 8th.
Tasting Notes: This delicate wine is a pale rose-petal pink in color. The nose is clean, pronounced, classy primary aromas of vine ripened peach and wild strawberry. It has a dry palate with crispy and balanced acidity, somehow generous and spicy too. The wine is silky, balanced, long, intense, complex and it can drink now or improve in the bottle for 1-3 years.
Score: 88 PointsThe Wine Advocate Author: Joe Czerwinski
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