Rocca Maura is made by the local cooperative in the ancient vineyards of medieval Roquemaure (the town around the Castle of the Black Rock) in the eastern most part of the Gard in the southern Rhone Valley 10 miles or so from Avignon. The vineyards are steeped in history; the British enjoyed these wines 800 years ago – the first written mention of them is by Gervase of Tilbury in 1214; in England! Les Vignerons de Roquemaure produce award winning wines of the Lirac, Tavel, Cotes du Rhone and Gard and have done so since 1922.
This graceful White is a blend that should prove to be very popular. Sauvignon, Viognier and Chardonnay is an unusual mix but we are starting to see it being adopted by master blenders across France. There is a growing trend for this lovely combination thanks to rising demand.
Even top flight Bordeaux are getting in on the act: Margaux Fifth Growth Chateau du Tertre has just released a brand new white wine using this blend. The marriage of the grapes takes a lot of skill as its a tricky business getting the balance right. Deep and powerful Viognier can easily overwhelm the racy Sauvignon Blanc and delicately floral Chardonnay. It takes a master blender and cellar master to accomplish a polished blend such as this – it’s a difficult challenge to take on but the winemakers at Rocca Maura have succeeded beautifully.
Les P’tits Galets (which translate as ‘the little pebbles) is named for the famous stones that pepper the vineyards. It’s delicious as an apertif but is also great with fish, especially pan fried trout with almonds thanks to the nutty overtones to this wine. It will pair well with soft cheeses, vegetarian dishes, pork and Mediterranean food. Try it with Nicoise Salad, Moules Mariniere or Paella.
Learn more about Sauvignon blends on Nick’s Blog: Innovations in Sauvignon blends