I had the lovely experience of sipping a glorious Dry Rosé in January 2020 at the Libertè Lounge in the Sofitel Hotel in downtown Philadelphia. What was the occasion? Well, the reason for my visit on this cold, blustery night in the City of Brotherly Love was to conclude my WSET Level 3 studies upstairs on the 3rd floor with a three-hour tasting and theory exam, which was going to be beyond stressful and intense. I sat there at a high-top table with cushy pillows surrounding me on a plush leather half booth contemplating what to have for dinner. After perusing the menu, I decided to go with the Spicy Vegan Tacos and a glass of a 2018 Chateau Val-Joanis, Luberon Estate Rosé from the Rhone Valley vineyard in the Provence region of France, which is well known for producing exceptional rose. I don't typically reach for a Rosé, especially in the winter months, but I love Provence-style rosès and was curious. I figured why not test my knowledge of the Southern Rhone Valley and Provence region of France and acclimate my nose and palate to an Old-World Rosé prior to entering the intimidating exam room. Just maybe I will taste one (I didn’t). Plus, price point was good and dry rosé traditionally pairs well with spicy dishes and umami (savory) foods so I went for it.
My food and wine pairing skills are not at master’s level yet but getting better. In this case, I was very pleased with the result. The wine was great on its wine as well as with my dinner. I enjoyed it well after the meal was finished and right up to exam time. Since I love to share and felt strongly about this Rosé, I am bringing it back since it was an enlightening experience. My own tasting notes, review, map of region, and other info about the wine is below. Hopefully, you can find this vintage or bottle somewhere out there.
2018 Château Val -Joanis Joséphine Rosé (Luberon)
The wine is a pale salmon (typical of Provence), but looks pale orange in picture. Nose - The wine has a medium intensity and youthful (drink now or up to a year - will most likely be fully developed by then, therefore will decline losing fruit). The aromas are of slightly underripe stone fruit, peach, apricot, watermelon skin, raspberry, hint of strawberry and slight citrus fruit, lime.
Palate - The wine is dry with medium (+) acidity, medium alcohol, and light body. It has a medium flavor intensity and medium finish. The flavors are soft red cherry, raspberry, some underripe yellow peach, minerality, dried herbs, and lime zest. The wine is good to very good (good because it isn't age-worthy, but very good in terms of quality right now (balance, fruit, and some complexity is apparent). Drink now, but not suitable for long-term aging. Highly Recommend!
Pairs well with spicy vegan, shrimp, salmon, or chicken tacos (obviously, lol), artichokes, crab cakes, shrimp/salmon salads, and light seafood.
Grapes - 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, 10% Rolle (Italian Vermentino). Price point $18-$22.