We’re back at Le Pont de La Tour and in the glamourous wine cellar to chat all things rosé with Assistant Head Sommelier, Rui Pereria. We recently launched a new partnership with Mirabeau Rosé, as it has become our house rosé and a hero wine for the summer months, and we can’t wait to find out more about this beautiful wine from rosé enthusiast Rui.
Rui can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am from the Portuguese city of Viseu, and I moved to London 7 years ago now. I trained at the RSC club in Pall Mall where I learnt everything from the school of wine. I then went to the Calvary Guards Club, and then on to one of D&D’s most iconic restaurants, Coq D’Argent from May- September 2021. I then moved over to Le Pont in September 2021, and I have been here since.
Can you tell us a bit about Maison Mirabeau?
Mirabeau has fast made a name for itself. A French rosé founded in 2010 by a family who left behind their life South London to begin an adventure of making a top-class rosé. Domaine Mirabeau is a 20-hectare estate in the Provence region which includes 14 hectares of AOP Côtes de Provence vines.
What kind of flavour notes does Mirabeau have?
Mirabeau is a rosé made from the Grenache grape. This is a red grape that provides flavours of raspberry and orange, with hints of Bergamot. These light flavours are exactly what you would expect in a classic rosé.. Of course the flavours, subtleties and textures differ across the Maison Mirabeau range.
Can you talk us through the different Mirabeau rosés we have available across D&D?
The great thing about this partnership with Mirabeau is that we don’t just stock one type, we have three of their exquisite wines. This gives our customers the opportunity to try each of the flavours and enjoy the differences.
Firstly, we have the Azure. This is a young rosé is our house rosé, which is made instantly ready for the summer months. It has a fresh feeling which is very drinkable and highly popular. It is an accomplished light wine, that is great paired with summer dishes such as oysters, a light salad, our fruit de mere, or even enjoyed as an aperitif.
Next, we have the Etoile, a slightly sharper wine. The red grape flavours are more present, and the fruit tones are layered. It is a gastronomic rosé, focused on freshness and acidity. There is a real depth to this flavour.
The last of the collection is the Reserve; this is the deepest of the wines. There is an integrated acidity across the palate with a slightly smoky finish. This toastiness has a certain complexity, allowing it to be paired with heavier foods such as a turbot or dover sole.
Which dishes from the Le Pont de la Tour menu would you choose as the perfect pairing for each of the wines?
Le Pont is a French restaurant, so our food tends to be rich and juicy. This generally reserves itself for a more complex wine such as the Reserve, however in the summer months, lots of our dishes such as those from our Bistrot Menu, or our upcoming Oyster Bar, pair well with a lighter rosé like the Azure.
For the Azure, I would choose our Crab Salad starter for a perfect pairing. The apple in this starter cuts through the acidity of the Azure and it acts as an immediate palate cleanser. In contrast, the crab is light and matches the taste of the wine.
For the Etolie, I would choose our Morue. Not only is cod the number one Portuguese fish, so of course I am a particular fan, but the richer flavours of chorizo and saffron balance out the lighter white fish to reflect the flavours of the wine.
For the Reserve, I would choose our Poulet Roti. The flavours of truffle and foie gras in this dish make it a heavier option. However, overall, it is still a light chicken dish. This reflects the body of a complex rosé. Still light but with a deeper flavour.
Can you pair rosé with a red meat?
A red meat has a heavy flavour and juicy fattiness. This is best reflected and paired with the complex body of a red wine. However, in the summer months it is too hot for a heavy red wine. A more complex rosé such as a the Reserve offers a good replacement for red wine in the summer. The red grape flavours and toastiness can match the red meat. It is not a perfect pairing, but it is a good option if you want to enjoy red meat in the summer.
How do you choose between a white wine and rosé in the summer months?
Rosé is made from the red grape. This is what gives the wine its colour. You crush the grapes and then ferment the juice from the skins. It us then up to the wine maker to decide how much colour to give a rosé. A very pale rosé is only in contact with the skins for a few hours, it is then produced like a white wine. The red grape gives the rosé the fruitiness of a red wine but with the body of a white wine. So, rosé is chosen as a summer red wine. It mirrors the depth of a red wine but for the warmer months.