Happy Thanksgiving! If you’re reading this, you already know there’s a rosé for every occasion, but everyone’s  favorite food and wine holiday is great opportunity to convince any potential doubters at your dinner table. While pink might not seem like the most autumnal of colors, an outstanding rosé will pair nicely with pretty much anything a Thanksgiving menu can throw at you. It has the acidity to cut through fatty dishes, the fruit to complement the sweeter stuff, and  you can even use it to enliven leftovers or accompany your Wednesday- before takeout. This month we have two wonderful selections from Famille de Ramatoulle in Provence and Domaine Phillippe Tessier of Loire Valley - both are slightly atypical French Roses and well suited to whatever festivities you have in front of you. 

The first is made primarily from the rare Tibouren grape, which is grown almost exclusively in Provence (Jancis Robinson has called it the Provencal varietal), mostly for Rose production. It was introduced to the area in the 18th century by an Italian sea captain named Antiboul, who  brought the “Antiboul plant” to the port of Saint Tropez. The grape was then planted mainly in the nearby communes of Ramatuelle and Gassin, and as the name evolved from Antiboulen to Tiboulen to, finally, Tibouren, the grape adapted quite well to the soil types of the area and produced juice of very high quality. From then on, the vines multiplied on the peninsula and continued to thrive, mostly in Ramatuelle. Tibouren makes for a distinctive and appealing Rose characterized by a wild herb bouquet called garrigue (so named for the underbrush and wild scrub that grows in the limestone rich soils of in the region) and citrus peel, stone fruit and saline mineral notes on the palate. The 2020 Ramatuelle Family Vineyards is a fine example with great acidic backbone to boot. 

Further inland and to the north, the Tessier family has been making wine for 3 generations. Roger Tessier, founded the Domaine that bears their name in 1961, when he decided to plant some grape vines on his asparagus farm in Cheverny, in the northeastern corner of Touraine, in the Loire Valley. Frequently overlooked/underrated compared to its more established Loire neighbors, the Cheverny AOC has in recent years become a real hub of hands-off winemaking, thanks in large part to Phillippe’s example. He began working in the vineyards in 1981, eventually taking over from his father, converting to organic viticulture in 1998 and becoming Eco-certified in 2002. 2018 was his last harvest at the helm; his son Simon is taking the reins (though Tessier pere remains omnipresent; “Phillippe lives and breathes the vineyards”, says Simon.) The quality of the 2020 Rosé, as fresh and vital as ever, suggests a seamless transition.

Think Pink!

Carrie Upson-General Manager

2020 Famille de Ramatuelle Tibouren Cotes du Provence

Region/Country of Origin: Provence, France 

About the Winery: Over 750 acres of plains and hills are cultivated with vines (20% of the commune) at Ramatuelle. This traditional Provençal activity goes back to 600 B.C. when the Greeks planted the first vines in this region. It is now the second economic activity of the commune with a production of 40 000 hl/year partly exported.

About the Winemaking:  Two communes, Ramatuelle and Gassin and 35 lieux-dits (owners). Average acreage per lieux-dit, 0.75 acres.From vines averaging  40 years of age; oldest are from the 1900’s, and 50% plus of the vines were planted in the 1950’s. Specifically selected lieux-dits, parcels and exposition varies. Sandy soil of schist. Organic, Sustainable and Lutte Raisonnée. September harvest, 20 days fermentation in controlled tanks with indigenous yeast. Very low doses of SO2 are added and the wine is bottled in late January. Tibouren 85%, Grenache 15%

Tasting Notes: It gives a dry and clear rosé with slightly orange hues, an earthy and spicy character with typical notes of pine and garrigue. Finesse, spirit, delicacy and bouquet intensity are the distinguishing qualities of Ramatuelle’s pink Tibouren.

Winemaker: Famille de Ramatuelle

Price: $19/ $205.20

Suggested Food Pairing: 


grilled fish

Sweet potatoes

Tomatoes Provencal

2020 Domaine Philippe Tessier Cheverny Rosé

Region/Country of Origin: Cheverny, Loire Valley, France

About the Winery: The vineyard exists in a microclimate that keeps the vineyards cool, situated between the Loire River and the forest of Cheverny, Chambord and Solonge. The region's soil is comprised of sand, clay, limestone, as well as ancient marine sediment, and the vines can be up to 90 years old. Tessier makes a point to practice and promote small-farm viticulture, believing that a wine should express the place from which it comes, the climatic conditions of the year, and the vigneron that produces it. Additionally, it must respect the life of the soil and the environment. 

About the Winemaking: Coming from younger vines (less than 15 years of age) a blend of 80% pinot noir, 20% Gamay. Aged in old neutral barrels.

Sand and clay soils. Organic winemaking. Co-fermentation in stainless steel vat using native yeasts. Malolactic fermentation complete. 19mg/L Sulfur added. 

Tasting Notes: Great nose of garden flowers and bright red fruit leading to a creamy palate structured around a vibrant, lingering acidity.

Winemaker: Simon Tessier

Price: $23 bottle/$248.4 case

Suggested Food Pairing: 

Spicy mashed potatoes 

Burnt maple Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Squash Salad w/ chickpeas

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