Apparently, on a trip to New York in 1950, Ernest Hemingway insisted he couldn't get stuck in to his lunchtime starter of oysters without first refreshing himself with a glass of Tavel. Whether Tavel is the best wine to accompany oysters is a matter of conjecture, but it is interesting that Tavel had an international reputation that long ago and was considered de rigeur by a well-travelled and discerning gastronome. Rosé is the only wine produced on its 905 hectares of vineyard and it is, unashamedly, a quite full bodied, darker-coloured wine that pairs well with a wide variety of Mediterranean dishes.
Richard Maby is the third generation of his family to oversee the viticulture and vinification at Domaine Maby in Tavel so has an intimate knowledge of the terroir, climate and challenges involved in producing one of the world's best known rosé wines. He favours a blend of all three hues of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Bourboulenc, Piquepoul, Carignan, Calitor and Clairette that are vinified in thermo-regulated stainless steel vats at low temperatures to conserve freshness. His finished wine - 'La Forcadière'- has a limpid garnet robe, alluring summer berry scents and a supple red fruit palate offset by fresh acidity and a delicate rasp of tannin.