Rolf Bichsel under the spell of Tavel rosé wine
Article published in La Provence the January, 23rd - 2012
Among the major crus in France and the wine-growers that produce them each year, Tavel wine still did not have its "book". The FERET Publishing House in Bordeaux has remedied this omission with the beautifully laid out book written by Rolf Bichsel, former managing editor of the magazine “Vinum” which is a reference in the wine trade, and who is at the present time director of a press agency solely dedicated to the world of the grapevine, vinmedi@. Journalist and writer, his qualities of wine-taster, photographer and columnist are unanimously recognised.
Although he was not over enthusiastic about his journey into the Gard-Rhodanien region (as the preface to his book leads us to believe), the author corrects his impressions and feelings as soon as his taste-buds come into contact with a fruity Tavel wine, at the right temperature and contemporary, although this wine ages well. And this is how Rolf Bichsel leads us on his extraordinary gustative and olfactory journey through pebble strewn vineyards, where the terroir and the men who have carved its history are just as important (or perhaps more) as a simple appellation and where the wine-making techniques vary from one terroir to another within the same geographical area. But the greatest merit of this book is to introduce us to all the various domains and their wine-growers who contribute to the strength of Tavel today. One even wonders whether the kingdom of rosé wines does not have as many kings as rosé wines! They all have that special know-how, and something “extra”.
There are 36 of them plus a wine cooperative that monitors vintage after vintage of extremely specific vinification methods. As many specificities as there are rosé wines : this is what the author offers us in the 152 pages of his book.
He is certainly a writer, but he is perhaps above all a photographer. And it is with his photos that Rolf Bichsel reveals the secrets of Tavel wines and all their aromas. He invites us to come and taste these rosé wines that have, for centuries, been enjoyed by the world’s greatest people.
To see the article (in french) click here