FLIGHT TO HAVANA
Château Tourril and Havana Rosé
What happens when one of the Airbus pioneers – Ortwin Kandler- and his friend – Philippe Espeluque – buy a vineyard with an ancient gallo-roman signal tower on the top of a hill in Languedoc? In short: Château Tourril and its great wines. Among them: an amazing rosé – Havana. Why Havana? Because Stéphane loves cigars. It’s simple.
Stéphane – the son of Ortwin – is now an owner and winemaker of Château Tourril. The beautiful family vineyard lays in the south of France, between the famous 1000-years-old fortified city of Carcassonne and the Canal du Midi. Their AOP Minervois wines are made from Syrah, Cinsault, Grenache, Roussanne, and 100-years-old Carignan.
They received many awards: e.g. Decanter or International Wine Challenge and were listed in the main wine guides and magazines: Wine Enthusiast, Wine Spectator, Hachette, etc. Château Tourril is also an Official Supplier of French America’s Cup team “K-Challenge” & the Extreme Sailing Series.
I met Stéphane in 67Wine in Manhattan. It was supposed to be a short tasting, but, like always, I spent half of my day there. The white and the red wines brought a lot of customers to the stand. Presenting rosé is a big challenge, though, in my opinion, Havana was a star of the evening and my super favorite.
Havana is made of two varieties: Cinsault (70%) and Grenache (30%). These are typical grapes in the south of France. And ideal for rosé.
Grapes are harvested very early in the morning to preserve freshness and aromas and they are placed into the low-temperature vats. They are not pressed: the juice forms in the lower part of vats and is transferred without harsh pumping, it’s just dripping down. The seeds are not broken inside the must, and the skins are not squeezed, so the juice is pure and high quality. This method is called “Saignée” which means “bleeding”.
PARIS IN THE GLASS
Bleeding – that is why Havana is a very delicate, elegant, dry wine, with a pale peach color. When you put your nose into the glass, you smell citruses, grapefruit, rose petals (or maybe it’s only my imagination…). Anyway: “fresh” is the best word for my impressions. If there was “Havana” perfume, I would surely buy it. And even replace my YSL “Parisienne”. Yes, this wine reminds me of spring mornings in Paris: pink blossoming trees along the streets and a cold wind when climbing these devil stairs to Montmartre… Ok, it reminds me of something more, but it’s another story.
Personally, I would pair Havana with pale pink Roger Vivier Trompette Pumps but I hardly have a place in my closet, so probably I will buy some shrimps and place them on a pan with a butter and herbs. Then HE will eat shrimps and I will drink wine. And after that, we will do some pairing. Or maybe a night flight to Havana…