I will never be able to look at a rosé wine in my life again without remembering my grandfather. He was a maverick of his time and had the audacity at the ripe age of 75 to dream of bottling his own vin biologique right there on the family’s estate. That wasn’t exactly common in those days in the Languedoc in 1975-78, but it completely aligned with his career as a professor of medicine, dedicated to “First, doing no harm.”
I can see him sitting around our family’s table under our iconic 100-year-old pine tree, in La Bousquette, a scene somewhat reminiscent of Renoir’s famed painting. I can see and hear him, smacking his lips in satisfaction as he would taste the new vintage of the Château Bousquette rosé, friends and admirers surrounding him, like they typically would in the summer for an apéritif.
He’d then proudly exclaim, “Now that is a rosé, just the way it should be and you are not going to get a heartburn from this either! No crap whatsoever in this wine!” Friends and relatives would nod approvingly. They had also noted that this was the only rosé that they could enjoy on a hot summer day in the south of France without getting heartburn. And they would drive off that evening with a couple of cases of that delightfully dry & unique beverage.
I can see this scene as though it was yesterday even though 30+ years have gone by. Funny which memories register and which are forgotten, their permanence rarely related to the importance of the event. My own 80-year-old grandfather, proud of his accomplishment, of his most recent innovation, smacking his lips and sharing the moment with people he loved, is forever stuck in my mind. The sights, the sounds and the sensations all aligned in the moment: the heat of the garrigue, the scents of that surrounding garrigue penetrating into every bit of our old family house. I remember being wrapped up in a feeling of admiration & astonishment that a man his age could still feel that passionate about something seemingly insignificant.
But for him, for the healer in him, the fact that his wine did not cause heartburn had the profoundest of meaning. He was right. I intuited that then, and I know that now.
Our Chateau Bousquette Rose is still the same today as it was when my grandfather dreamed it up decades ago. Try it, I think you will love it too.