The 2015 Alain Jaume Tavel Le Cretace Rose has now been in my cellar for about eight months since I purchased a mixed case of 2015 Tavel Rose's from an east coast merchant that has an early arrival pipeline with the importer, Kysela Pere et Fils.
For me, the 2015 vintage of Rose wines the world over are pretty much an abundances of riches, and while some may want to age the wines a year or more, or some retailers may want to sell the 13's and 14's they have on their shelves, the 15's are the real winners in the race and are made to be drunk NOW.
Jaume's Le Cretace is a lively blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre, made in a dry style, where the juice from the grapes is bled off providing a very fresh and fruity flavor that just lingers in the mouth for minutes. The fresh strawberry and watermelon flavors have that nice "Jolly Rancher" style of brightness, while the more austere blueberry and black raspberry follow through to provide balance, body and structure to this very elegant Rose from Tavel France. Tavel, which produces some of the best Rose's in the world sits just west of Avignon, south of Lirac and is a hidden gem in the Rhone to visit, as the producers there make incredible wines, providing a very nice departure from the bigger, teeth staining reds from the rest of the Valley.
For those who don't know Alain Jaume, the winery has been around about as long as any of the more popular large houses in the Rhone, dating back to the 1820s. They produce wines from their own estates, as well as buying fruit from around the Rhone, but until the 2000's they were largely unknown in the USA having to yield to larger market awareness to bigger houses like Guigal and Chapoutier.
My first experience with them came at one of earliest Rhone Discovery Week events in Avignon. I pretty much fell over tasting their Cotes du Rhones and Cotes du Rhone Villages, and that was before I got to their Chateauneuf du Papes. Talk about a well kept secret back then. That's why I was thrilled when their wines started to pop up on the west coast as well as the more obvious destinations on the east coast.
Jaume's wines are almost always solid performers that you can count on, but in very good years, their wines are exceptional in both quality and value. The 2015 Alain Jaume Tavel Le Cretace Rose proved that one more time. I'm a fan and have no qualms saying you should be too.