The past two weeks have been a whirlwind of eating and drinking my way around France. The breads, the cheeses, the meats, the wines, the pastries…..the good food and drink was endless. It is really hard to pick one thing as a stand-out for the week. But, during lunch one day, it was not the cheese table that I was drawn to, but rather the dessert table. Sitting on the table were delicious looking pastries that looked like they could be doughnuts or cronuts. What were they? Chocolate covered pogne de Romans. So delicious and so memorable, it had to be the Please The Palate “pick of the week.”
Each week, it is my goal to share the one thing that stood out that week. It could be a wine, a cocktail, a dish or something, someone or somewhere that stood out among everything else. This week proved to be a challenge to find that one thing. I have spent the week traveling from the north to the south of France, visiting six regions and eight wineries. We have eaten a lot and tasted a lot of wine….and all of it was great! The breads, cheeses, butter are just a few to name. And there were so many one-of-a-kind experiences that I promise to share. But, if I have to pick one thing as the Please The Palate “pick-of-the-week,” it is the Chêne Bleu Rosé 2016.
I was first introduced to Chêne Bleu more than a year ago when I met owner Nicole Rolet in Los Angeles and wrote about her and her winery. At the time, I learned about her winery in the mountains which sits at the crossroads of four appellations in the Southern Rhone – Gigondas, Cotes du Ventoux, Cotes du Rhone and Sequret. I also had the pleasure to taste two of her wines – Abèlard, a grenache blend, and Hèloïse, a syrah blend. Read More
This story was originally printed in the Napa Valley Register.
I stood holding a glass of rosé wine at a recent wine lunch with Chateau La Nerthe when the export director Christophe Bristiel looked at me and told me that I was holding a glass of a wine that was 800 years old.
He did not mean that the actual wine in my glass was that old but rather that the rosé wine was from a winery dating to 1199. Prieuré de Montézargues was a monastery in Tavel, France and the French King had granted the monks the right to make wine. Today, the 84-acre property is owned by the Richard family who also own Chateau La Nerthe in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and Domaine de La Renjarde in Cotes du Rhone Villages.
After enjoying the structured Prieuré de Montézargues Tavel 2015 made with 55 percent grenache, 30 percent cinsault, 13 percent clairette and 2 percent of syrah, mourvedre, carignan and courboulanc and with its notes of strawberry and gooseberry, we sat down for lunch and to taste the wines of Chateau La Nerthe.