Clos du Temple 2018 – the most expensive rosé in the world – is listed at £215 Harrods in Knightsbridge and £234 Hedonism Wines in Mayfair.
That’s the inaugural vintage. The world’s most costly rosé is not, however, from Provence.
The Clos du Temple biodynamic vineyard is in Cabrieres, not to be confused with Corbieres, both of which are in the Languedoc in the south of France.
The seven plots of the 8-hectare Clos du Temple are planted to Grenache Noir, Cinsault, Syrah, Viognier, and Mourvedre. The age of the vines is 50 to 60 years.
The Romans first sunk vines into the ground – a combination of schist and limestone – in Carbrieres in the first or second century.
A thousand years later – around 1224 – Chateau de Cabrieres gifted the Clos du Temple to the religious Order of the Templars who, in turn, gave their name to the vineyard.
Clos du Temple is today owned by Gerard Bertrand. The Frenchman bought and amalgamated two vineyards, Domaine du Temple and Mas Valbrune.
The latter included a walled vineyard called Clos Roman. Bertrand (who believes rosé was made in the region since the 14th Century) renamed it Clos du Temple and it is from this enclosed vineyard that the blend for Clos du Temple rosé is made.
Clos du Temple faces south to south west and, following its conversion to biodynamic viticulture, produced its first rosé in 2017. Gerard Bertrand did not, however, feel it was up to standard and did not commercialise the vintage.
Harvesting by hand is done at sunrise. Following a selection of the best free-run juice, the plots are vinified separately. No sulphur is used in the clarification and fermentation is at a low temperature.
The wine is matured in new French barrels for between 6 and 8 months on fine lees.
The second vintage, Clos du Temple 2019, was named Best Rosé in the World in the UK’s Global Rosé Masters 2020. It shared that honour with Chateau d’Esclans Garrus 2018 of Provence. Some 200 rosés from around the world were judged in that competition.
Clos du Temple 2018 would no doubt have evolved since I first tasted it on 12 August 2019 in Hong Kong. I had taken it to dinner at the Wanchai branch of Lei Garden. There was white peach, white flowers, a hint of red fruit, vanilla, star anise, and it was velvety. The rosé would be more complex and mature now. It will certainly be more buttery and creamy in tone and texture. And, I am sure, still as dazzling as it was two years ago.