What makes Peyrassol Rose, Provence?
La Commanderie de Peyrassol is, for many, a wine estate of extremely strong renown and history. It was founded in Provence, in the early 13th Century by the Knights Templar whose seal is emblazoned upon the bottle tops to this day as is the Templar cross all over the estate. Parchment dated to 1256 even reports on the sale of wine from the Chateau, although it would not have been anything like the Rose of today. However, it wasn’t until the 1800s when wine began to overtake the estate’s other sources of agricultural income and become the main source of production. Still, the Rose of today was not yet in the making, but the rich cultural history and vineyards were set.
What makes Peyrassol tick?
Everything of course starts in the vineyard. The 200m plus altitude helps keep conditions cool during the growing season (especially given the heat in Provence) whilst the soils give the vines a flavoursome advantage. The soil is poor (which is a good thing for wine) and composed of limestone such as you’ll find in Champagne. These factors result in bright, lively wines with intense fruit flavours and good acidity to balance them out.
It is also worth commending the Chateau Peyrassol’s commitment to organic farming, cutting back almost entirely on chemicals and growing various cereals between the vine rows.
How is it made?
Peyrassol Rose is made by a method called direct pressing. This is where the grapes are softly pressed in a short period of time minimizing contact with the skins. Skins provide the tannin, colour and some aromas/flavours. So, by shortening this process, Peyrassol achieve a delicate, elegant Rose wine. The grapes are then kept in tanks, plot by plot, and only blended when the time comes to perfect the balance.
The wines of Chateau Peyrassol
Peyrassol 'Réserve des Templiers' Rosé
A blend of 5 different varieties, Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and the white grape Vermentino. The masterful blending of these quintessential Provence grapes results in a vibrant house style, classic Peyrassol. Wild strawberry, raspberry, peach and citrus fruits. Delicious.
Peyrassol ‘Les Commandeurs’ Organic Rosé
The same grape blend as the Templiers, but a step up in quality. The berry fruits appear in more lively fashion with more intensity. A little more complexity is afforded by redcurrant, tropical and spiced notes intermingling.
Le Clos Peyrassol
The Clos Peyrassol pays real homage to Provence. Consisting of only 3 varieties, Cinsault, Grenache and Provence’s own grape Tibouren, whilst undergoing ageing in stone jars which adds to the complexity of the wine. A real blend of elegance and French refinement. Cherry blossom, peach, melon, lemon, grapefruit, raspberry, forest berries and sweet spices create an outstanding wine.
Named after the founding date, this is the true first class wine from Peyrassol. Again, with Tibouren featuring heavily, it exudes Provence. It spends 10 months on lees, with stirring to enhance flavour, and undergoes ageing in a mixture of barrels and stone jars. It even goes through malolactic fermentation which elevates the mouthfeel to more luxurious, creamy heights. As expected, the taste is amongst the best, with delicacy and poise on the tongue. Sweet spices and dried herbs complement red berries and floral elements perfectly. Lemon meringue and a hint of butter give a sublime finish.
Peyrassol does also make white and reds, although far fewer, which are worth getting your hands on if not for interest, then taste as well.
This blog was written by our wine expert, David Andrews. Read his Instagram blog @oinosattheoikos
Updated 21st September 2023