Le Pavillon Rose comes from master blenders Christophe Rethore and his cousin, Jean Michel Davy, at their award winning vineyards in the Loire Valley. Their domaine, Rethore Davy, lies in Saint Remy en Mauges in the old province of Anjou. Rethore Davy boasts a wonderfully rich estate, nestled on the slopes of small valleys located at a slight altitude, enjoying an exceptional southern exposure.
The grapes for Le Pavillon Rose are grown on exclusively on Schist which allows the estate’s Gamay, Pinot Noir and ancient Arbouriou to thrive. Arbouriou was nearly extinct until a local farmer discovered abandoned plantings of the vine growing up the wall of a ruined castle outside of Villereal in 1882. Further research is needed but it could very well be that Arbouriou is the grandparent of both Merlot and Malbec. The cousins use Arbouriou in their Le Pavillon Rose blend to add fruitiness and a distinctive plush body to the wine. Gamay (best known for producing Beaujolais) and its relative Pinot Noir (Burgundy’s signature grape) add vibrancy and finesse.
The cousins’ skill in blending is reflected in how they vinify their grapes. The 3 grape varieties undergo different processes before the final blend is made. The Pinot Noir undergoes red wine vat-bleeding, known as the Saignee Method. This involves pressing the grapes and allowing the juice to remain in contact with the skins for a few days before bleeding the juices off. This way, the wine maker creates a pale Pinot full of the intense aromas and flavours of the red grapes but with a totally different character. The Gamay undergoes direct pressing and the Abouriou is subjected to pellicular maceration (leaving the grape skins in with the juice until fermenting, which intensifies the aromas). These 3 techniques lend subtlety, elegance and structure to the wine. Fermentation is carried out at low temperature. Finally 3 winter rackings are carried out to refine the rose. Quite a painstaking process!
Le Pavillon is an enjoyable glass of rose at any time, however it also pairs well with food, including tapas, stuffed peppers, spicy chicken enchilladas, smoked meats (beef, ham, chorizo, pastrami), rice dishes and shell fish.
Learn more about pale, delicate Roses on Nick’s Blog: What wines to watch out for in 2016 – Are our tastes changing?