Daniel Brunier often refers to the Pigeoulet as a “retro” rouge, in the sense of lightness, more aromatics than muscle, something especially easy to tipple. Makes sense when you keep in mind that just a few generations ago the average French man and woman were drinking a few liters of wine each day. The kids helped out, too—in fact, high school cafeterias served up wine with lunch until 1981. In this Pigeoulet, spice, black pepper, and deep southern herbaceousness abound. While we may no longer be inclined for liters, a bottle here and there will provide plenty of retro pleasure.
White wines from Châteauneuf-du-Pape don’t have much of a reputation as a summer wine. I’ve never seen anyone with a bottle at the beach, or dropping ice cubes into a glass on a sunny terrace. It’s true they can often be quite rich, needing something equally rich and hearty for accompaniment. Thankfully, there are exceptions to every rule, and this is one. Roquète has a creamy, toasty side, balanced out with loads of citrus, minerality, and its signature anise-seed finish. That means you can really go glass after glass, be it beach, terrace (hold the ice cubes, though), sunshine, wherever . . . and you’ll always find yourself reaching for more.
If you ever want to go way off the beaten path in the southern Rhône, far from the crowds, bike tours, and buses, take a stroll to the backcountry of Ventoux. Find your way to the village of La Roque-Alric for a glimpse of the laid-back, authentic Provence of the past. From there, head toward the neighboring village of Saint-Hippolyte-le-Graveyron, where you will find the Bruniers’ “little piece of paradise,” as they call it, their small vineyard with quite the view that makes up the Mégaphone cuvée. This rouge is as fresh, herbal, colorful, and authentic as its vineyards environs.
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa