Chateau le Roc is one of the leading producers in the Cotes du Frontonnais of southwest France. Situated on the left bank of the river Tarn in Southwest France, the estate has been run by brothers Jean-Luc and Frederic Ribes since 1988. The region is noted for the Negrette grape, in itself unremarkable, but excellent when blended with Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah. However, in the case of the remarkable 'Le Roc Ambulle, Vin de Table de France Turbullent' (to give it's correct name), the Negrette is blended with a little Mauzac to produce a delicate, petillant pink sparkler. Grown from biodynamically grown grapes this weighs in at only 9% ABV making it a great party fizz. However, not a lot is made and availability is limited.
The Côtes du Frontonnais is a highly unique wine making region located on the left bank of the Tarn River about twenty miles north of Toulouse. The area is generally flat, with occasional hills that create small slopes. The vineyard’s subsoil is composed of ice age deposits, topped by alluvial soil and rouget, a material very rich in iron that lends a particular flavour to the wines. The typical climate of the region is similar to that of Bordeaux: warm and dry in the summer, and mild and wet in the winter. Jean-Luc and Frederic Ribes have always wanted to make Frontonnais with some oomph since they took over the Château Le Roc property in 1988. Soil composed of gravel and stone allied to low-yielding vines provided the foundation for this intention. The vineyard is farmed organically.
We don't really know what's gone in the blend, but we suspect Mauzac and Negrette have been involved. Natural fermentation takes place in the bottle, no added sulphites.
A delicate raspberry pink in colour. The bubbles are lively and the aromas discernably sweet - cherries, strawberries and peardrops. On the palate, crisp and refreshing with further delicate red fruit flavours. The finish is short yet clean. This will last for decades we're told, and as it ages it gradually becomes drier and paler in colour.
Try with a beetroot risotto, tuna sashimi with a daikon salad or smoked salmon and avocado terrine.