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Château Trinquevedel (Tavel, France)

A family operation dating back to 1936, Château Trinquevedel stands among 32 hectares (nearly 80 acres) of vines in the Tavel wine-producing region of France. We had the privilege of spending nearly two hours with Céline, who manages the estate with her husband, Guillaume. To commence the wine experience, our host guided us to the vineyards surrounding the Château, where she explained the family's viticulture organic viticulture methods. We learned that French law permits the use of only nine grape varieties - Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette, Picpoul, Calitor, Bourboulenc, Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Carignan – for the production of wines labeled Tavel AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée), with no one grape allowed to constitute over 60% of the wine. All Tavel wines must be rosé, so every wine from this region is a rosé blend!

The next stop during the visit was the production facilities, where Céline detailed the wine production process. Beyond producing rosés, Château Trinquevedel crafts a red wine blend from the Lirac AOC comprised of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre as well as a line of easy-drinking crowd-pleaser wines called "Valet," an anagram of Tavel. For the 2020 Tavel Traditional Reserve Rosé, the family combines Grenache, Cinsault, Clairette, Syrah, and Mourvèdre in the press, allowing the grapes to macerate for 48 hours at a cool temperature. By lowering the temperature to 17 degrees Celsius, the winemaker can control the slow extraction of color pigments and flavors from the grapes without imparting tannin in the resulting wine. The family then presses the grapes, assembling the wine before fermentation by combining the free-run juice that results before pressing and pressed juices.

For the fermentation of the grape juice into wine, Château Trinquevedel depends on the ambient yeasts within the winery and on the skin of the grapes rather than inoculating the juice with commercial yeasts. Céline explained that using wild yeasts adds to the expression of terroir in their wines. The winemaker allows the wine to undergo malolactic conversion, the transformation of the tart malic acid to a softer and creamier lactic acid, adding body to the resulting wine. The wine ages in 60-liter old oak barrels for 18 months to add greater depth and complexity.

We had the opportunity to taste the entire Château Trinquevedel line, and I particularly enjoyed the 2020 Tavel Traditional Reserve Rosé. The wine's bright red color resulted from the extended maceration process, a much different color compared to the light pink rosés from Provence. The wine expressed notes of red fruits such as strawberry with hints of citrus, namely orange and grapefruit. The full-body points to the oak ageing regimen and malolactic conversion, while the high alcohol at 14% ABV is due to the high percentage of Grenache (45%) in the blend. According to Céline, the oldest vines yielding grapes for this blend are 70 years old, supporting the nearly pronounced aromas and flavors from highly concentrated grapes from old vines.

Please check out the YouTube video of our experience here.

Experience Rating: 3 Stars

Brodi’s Rating: 1 Paw Up

Pet-Friendly: Yes

Experience Vibe: Private Experience, Vineyard and Winemaking Facilities Tour, Seated Tasting

Reservations Needed: Yes

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