Château Coupe Roses
Minervois, Languedoc, France
Situated on a high plateau near the villages of Minerve and La Caunette, Françoise le Calvez and Pascal Frissant work Château Coupe Roses with passion and care. The organic vineyards of Chateau Coupe-Roses are at the highest altitude in Minervois, between 750 and 1,350 feet (250 to 450m) above sea level, where cool nights and moderate temperatures allow grapes to ripen slowly, developing great acidity and flavor. This historic and rugged area is reflected in the wines, which are at once rustic and satisfying, with high toned garrigue aromas and dense fruit flavors.
Their vineyards, primarily planted to Grenache, Carignan, Syrah and smaller amounts of Cinsault, are in Le Causse and Le Petit Causse. A causse refers to an enormous outcropping of exposed rock— in this case, limestone—that supports little more than garrigue, olives and vines. The area is famous for being the home of the Cathars, a Christian religious organization whose views on sex and hierarchy amongst men and women proved anathema to the Catholic church. This stronghold held out for months before surrendering early in a twenty-year crusade launched by Pope Innocent III in 1209 that swept over the Languedoc and burned infidels wherever they could find them.
Château Coupe Roses produces honest wines of character and charm that are excellent values.
Coupe Roses Minervois La Bastide 2016
Half Carignan and half Grenache with 5% Syrah, La Bastide Minervois is fermented in stainless steel with four weeks of skin contact. The wine is bottled with no oak. Vibrant red with notes of red cherries and a touch of bitter plum. The palate is dry with bright, fresh acidity, soft tannins, and a round texture. This is surprisingly complex with notes of minerals, graphite, herbs, and leather. Excellent value!
Coupe Roses Minervois Blanc Cuvée Champ du Roy 2016
A delicious blend of 60% Grenache Blanc and 30% Muscat Blanc a Petits Grains and 10% Marsanne, planted to iron rich clay soils at between 250 and 450 meters, and fermented completely dry in tank. The wine features remarkably complex aromas of anise, orange blossom and peach. The medium-bodied palate fills the mouth with citrus zest and a stony, mineral freshness. Champ du Roy refers to the King's Field. Organic. Four months in stainless steel. No oak.
Coupe Roses Minervois Rose Frémillant 2017
40% Mourvèdre, 20% Cinsault, 20% Grenache, and 20% Syrah. A rosé de saignée based on Mourvèdre from parcels chosen for this rosé and harvested by hand. Frémillant is old Occitane referring to a light red wine.
Past vintages have been highly regarded:
2016: "Bright neon pink. Ripe red berries, candied flowers and a suggestion of white pepper on the nose and in the mouth. Juicy and seamless in texture, displaying an appealing blend of heft and energy. Closes supple and subtly sweet, showing good cling and a lingering raspberry note." 89 points– Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media, June 2017
2014: "Vivid pink. Ripe red berries, cherry pit and floral oils on the emphatically perfumed nose. Juicy and open-knit, with a hint of peppery spices adding lift to the intense raspberry and cherry compote flavors. Quite concentrated but not at all heavy. Finishes smooth, broad and long, leaving suave floral and red fruit liqueur notes behind. This assertive rosé, which would pair wonderfully with strongly seasoned dishes and even red meats, delivers outstanding value." 90 points– Josh Raynolds, Vinous Media, May 2015