Along with its northern neighbour Lirac, Tavel is the only top appellation on the right bank of the Rhône and one of the few at all that is exclusively for rosé wines. The almost 1,000 hectares of vineyards lie a little higher than those of Chateauneuf-du-Pape on the opposite side of the Rhône. Today, rosés grow on chalky sandy soil, and although they can hardly deny their strength - the alcohol levels here often reach 14 per cent - they taste much fresher, juicier and livelier than was often the case in the past with this glorious appellation.
It is precisely this mixture of freshness, juiciness and power that makes a good Tavel so appealing. Especially in the barbecue season, it can show its strengths, because it can be drunk with strongly spiced meat of all kinds as well as with grilled vegetables or Greek salad with feta and olives and does not even have to respect hot sauces. Where other wines have long since capitulated, the Tavel still cuts a fine figure, but never plays to the fore. And refreshing on the side, when it is good, despite its power.