Rocca Maura Rose is made by the local cooperative in the ancient vineyards of Roquemaure in the eastern most part of the Gard; in the heart of the southern Rhone Valley. This is the countryside of the Crusades, the Avignon Popes and the Church; Roquemaure Castle is the site of the death of Pope Clement V, who also owned Chateau Pape Clement in Bordeaux. Les Vignerons de Roquemaure produces some stunning Roses in this old wine making region. Their vineyards cover AOCs Tavel and Lirac (ancient Rose appellations that have tended to fall under the radar in the UK until recently). Both Tavel and Lirac produce serious and historic Roses and their wines were favourites of the French Kings, the Popes of Avignon and the 20th century writer, Ernest Hemingway.
The southern Rhone is the gateway to the Provence but the styles of Rose are quite different. Those of the southern Rhone are more fruit forward and fuller bodied than the delicate Roses of Provence. Rocca Maura uses a high percentage of Grenache in the blend which gives lovely structure and body to the wine. The addition of Cinsault softens the wine and gives powerful fruit flavours and wonderful perfume. Delicious as a drink on its own, Rocca Maura Rose also pairs well with Mediterranean, African and Middle Eastern Cuisine. It’s superb with spicy, smoked or salty foods (anchovies, olives, tapenade, taramasalata, pates, chorizo and smoked chicken or bacon). It’s also great with pan fried chicken livers or even kidney, pilaf and couscous dishes, Moroccan lamb or Chinese deep fried pork.
Learn more about Roquemaure on Nicks Blog: Homing in on the Rhone – Roquemaure, Birthplace of the Cotes