Winery: Château Miraval
Cuvée: Miraval Rosé
Appellation: Côtes de Provence
Grape Varieties: Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Rolle
Alcohol content: 13%
Average Retail Price: U.S. $23, France €14, Great Britain £12
The other night, we had some friends over for l‘Apéro – a wonderful French convention that gathers people for an hour (or so) to share a nice beverage and some nibbles. Often, a digestif such as Pastis, Lillet, or Campari is served, but it can just as easily be a wine. Susan wrote a wonderful piece on l’apéro several months ago – you can read it HERE.
At this time of year, I like to serve a nice, very chilled rosé for l’apéro – it is refreshing, light, and looks so beautiful on any table. I googled “rosé wine for aperitif” and one of the first hits was for Château Miraval. I had heard a lot about Château Miraval – I mean, how could you not? It’s owned by Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. In addition, the estate is managed by the great Marc Perrin. With this pedigree, how could I go wrong?
When in France, and invited for l’apéro, I was most often served wine, or sometimes a kir. Accompanying food ranged from Japanese dried wasabi-dusted snacks, to sliced saucisson, to little canapés, to hot hors d’œuvres. To serve with my 2015 Miraval rosé, I decided this special wine called for a special nibble – shrimp and zucchini cakes with saffron mayonnaise, the recipe is on Cocoa & Lavender.
Now, to the important stuff: the wine. Several reviewers I read wanted to hate this wine. Why? Because the château is owned by celebrities? What a silly reason to dislike a wine. I really liked the wine, and so did our guests.
It is a beautiful pale pink, which is somehow even prettier in the gorgeous bottle designed by Angelina Jolie. The labeling is minimal to accentuate the design, and it succeeds; this is a stunning presentation. To keep everything light, the text on the back is white and very fine. (An aside rant: I think wine labels should be designed for older people. Only a sixteen-year old can read most labels, and they aren’t allowed to drink! Large print edition wine labels for the visually impaired – is this how I will earn my fortune?)
The nose evokes strawberries and jasmine. I could tell from the nose alone that this wine was going to tickle my palate. In the mouth the wine delivers a delightful mineral feel with flavors of red fruits and white peach. With food, the minerality increased – perhaps the mayonnaise added to this unctuous feel? – and the taste became quite nutty, specifically toasted almond. It has a nice, long finish.
Value-wise, this wine costs a bit more that many rosés readily available, but I think when it is the centerpiece – as it was for l’apéro the other night – it is worth getting something that stands on its own. This wine pairs well with seafood – I would love to taste it with a bouillabaisse – and would be especially good with raw oysters and sushi.