Rosely Gavoty, who has helmed her family’s domaine since her ancestor Philémon acquired it in 1806, oversees 50 hectares of vines on a Roman-era farm in the commune of Cabasse called Campdumy(“harvest fields” in old Provençal), situated along the snaking Issole River in the northwestern sector of the Côtes de Provence appellation. Surrounded by oak and pine forests and bordered by the Issole, Domaine Gavoty is a polycultural farm encompassing 110 hectares in total, and the family has worked the land without synthetic chemicals for decades, obtaining organic certification in recent years. Our first meeting with Roselyn, who has been involved at the estate since 1985, was a moving experience. A serpentine driveway flanked by beautifully tended vineyards led us to the main grounds, and Roselyn, tan and wiry, emerged from the simple, classic house to greet us. Bouncing around in her old 4×4, we explored the property and its varied terrain, as Roselyn opined ruefully about Provence rosé’s descent into rank commercialism in recent years, decrying its relegation to the status of a “boisson” (“drink”) gulped down mindlessly by hordes of “consommateurs mouton” (“sheep consumers”). She was already winning us over, and we yet to taste a single thing!
This is the kind of rosé that ignited interest in the appellation in the first place, and it is the kind that we at RWM fell in love with 40 years ago during our earliest importing adventures.
Whereas much currently trendy Provence rosé gets by on being light enough in color and innocuous enough in flavor, Gavoty’s are first and foremost wines—refreshing in spirit as befits the appellation, to be sure, but resonant and thought-provoking as well, with notably gorgeous textures. A lot of rosés dash quickly down the throat, sprinkling a few candied red fruits along the way; Gavoty’s caress the palate, with rich but nimble fruit fused to an underlying salinity, and finishes that blossom and linger. This is the kind of rosé that ignited interest in the appellation in the first place, and it is the kind that we at RWM fell in love with 40 years ago during our earliest importing adventures. How satisfying it is to see that such wine still exists, and in such dazzling fashion as at Domaine Gavoty.
Copper-sulfate only. Goats allowed to graze since 2018.
Annual ploughing to maintain vineyard health
Trained in Guyot and Cordon de Royat, oldest vines were planted in the 1960’s
Controlled through pruning, debudding, and green harvesting
Entirely manual, usually mid-September
Entirely estate fruit
After total destemming, wines ferment in stainless-steel tanks for 3-4 weeks. Selected yeasts are used only when necessary. Rosé wines see 3-6 hours of skin contact.
Most rosé wines see short macerations before they are bled off, though some are pressed directly.
Raised separately and blended before bottling
Blocked by temperature
3-6 months in stainless-steel tanks or concrete vats
Wines remain on their fine lees until assemblage prior to bottling.
FINING & FILTRATION
Fined with bentonite, plate filtered
Applied when necessary