The winery calls this a “shiny wine”. I like it. I have wines I call “smiley wines”, wines that make you smile as soon as your nose hits the glass. Maybe “shiny” is French for “smiley”, because here’s one that does just that.
You know me (maybe), and I’m not a lover of the pink drink. Usually. Luckily, we don’t buy your usual rosés. 2017 was a great Rhône rosé vintage, and this is the first time it’s been released under the prestigious Cuvée du Vatican label. Such a classic vintage that we’ve been told (a few times now) that 2017 is even favoured over 2015. Now we’re talking. But the maker really had us when they said, “this cozy wine will be among the good tables where it is good to live and feast”. We’re not one to not live, or feast.
So let the feast begin.
It’s cool, we get it, you want to know absolutely everything about this wine. Well here you go, go nuts.
- Rhone Valley
- Alcohol by Vol.
- Bottle Vol
- Blend Info
- Grenache, Shiraz, Mataro
- Serving Temp.
The Rhône Valley is a dichotomous beast. The North is ruled by Syrah (=Shiraz), with or without a touch of Viognier for perfume, while in the South you'll find all matter of blends such as those of Chateauneuf du Pape (about thirteen varieties in these on average, at last count...) and the origins of the GSM (heard of Côtes du Rhône?). The Northern Rhône is Australia's ultimate sparring partner in the 'we say Shiraz, you say Syrah' fencing match. With such famous names as Côtes-Rôtie, Gigondas and Crozes-Hermitage (remember when Grange was called Hermitage...?), you can bet your bottom dollar - and the few hundred that go with it - that you'll need to be ticking off a few of the better ones before you kick it. Don't discount the whites though. Some of the finest whites you'll ever try come from Condrieu (the most sensual Viognier you'll try, at a price), and the lesser (in cost, at least) blends, often based on Grenache Blanc or Viognier. And watch out for dry, Rhône rose - it's become so popular that the industry bodies are warning the region not to over-produce. Look out Kiwi Sav Blanc!
The rules are there ain’t no rules, but here are some foods we think will work pretty well with this wine...
Potato roesti with smoked salmon
- 800g royal blue potatoes, peeled
- 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
- 1/2-1 tsp horseradish cream, or to taste
- 100g spreadable cream cheese
- 1 bunch rocket, leaves torn
- 200g sliced smoked salmon
- 1 tbs finely chopped chives
- Coarsely grate potatoes into a sieve placed over a bowl.
- Season potatoes to taste with salt and pepper. Using your hands, squeeze out any excess moisture from grated potatoes.
- Heat 1 tbs oil in a heavy-based frying pan over medium heat. Working in batches and adding more oil when needed, add heaped tablespoonfuls of potato mixture to pan, flattening to form 8cm rounds. Cook roesti for 1 1/2 minutes each side or until crisp and golden.
- Drain roesti on paper towels. Place horseradish cream and cream cheese in a bowl and stir until smooth. Divide roesti among plates. Top with rocket, smoked salmon and a spoonful of cream cheese mixture. Scatter with chives then season to taste. Serve immediately.
The wines we remember are about the moments. The people, the places. That’s life. Here are some ideas...