Vin Rosé “Sapiens”
One of life’s greatest pleasures at Chateau L’Age Baston is lunch in the courtyard. Lunch here is no hurried sub-mariner sandwich break. It’s a fully-fledged, sit down round a big table affair with cutlery and everything. There’s loads of fresh, tasty healthy food (as much from the garden as we can) including our fabulous home-grown walnuts and fresh figs in season. We usually run to at least three courses and, from the first helping to the final “hands up for coffee please”, this is a relaxed and delightful way to share a meal and a glass or two of wine.
The wine of choice at lunch is actually a local rosé. It comes from only 5kms away and we buy it in alarming quantities. It gets called all sorts of things like “pinky” or ‘raspberry juice’ and has featured on our table from beyond the dawn of time. We are very fond of it and, as we get so many positive comments, we thought you might to know a bit more about our “pinky”.
Vin Rosé “Sapiens” is made just down the road at the Cave de St Sornin. The Cave has been going since 1967 and is a ‘Cave Cooperative’. It has around 100 members with about 180 hectares of vines and produces 100% Charentaise Wine.
They make a range of red, white and rosé wines from different grape varieties but our Rosé is called ‘Sapiens’ and is made exclusively with Merlot. Production is limited and you won’t find it for sale much outside the region and I’m afraid it has never been exported so you’ll just have to come here to taste it!
What’s It Like?
Just like the countryside round here; clean and bright, fruity and aromatic, subtle and round with a lovely intense colour. This is limestone country and the taste reflects that with a refreshing dryness. ‘Sapiens’ is easy to drink and has no bad habits, although drinking lots of it won’t necessarily lead to wisdom.
Deceptively powerful it goes well with practically everything and is a good companion to a wide range of both savoury main course dishes and sweet desserts.
Other Grapes Other Wines
We buy ‘Sapiens’ in bulk and serve it by the jug full but you can buy in bottles too at the Cave. St Sornin also grows Gamay and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to make different single-variety wines and ‘assemblages’.
These are all respectable “Vin du Pays” and part of a world where small producers seek to make wines that reflect and respect the character of the soil, climate and traditions of where they are. The French call it ‘Terroire’ – a semi-mystical connection between man and land which may seem a bit romantic to us but is real enough to many – if only for marketing purposes.
You can visit the cave, taste the wines, tour the vines and buy local produce at the cave shop including cognac and Pineau (deserves another blog to come), Foie Gras, rillettes, grillons, Crème de cassis Jaquiot (the best), honey-cake, honey and even slippers. Slippers?
If you’ve not been to the Charente before then why should you know that this is the traditional heartland of slipper making in France? It was such a big deal in years gone by that even now the French often use the word “Charentais” for slippers instead of the official ”pantoufle”.
In The End
You don’t have to wear slippers at the L’Age Baston lunch table, the dress code is very relaxed. What’s more important is for you to bring an open mind, a sense of humour and a taste for the authentic. The wine is good, the food is great. Here’s your chance to see and taste another world through rosé tinted glass. Bon appetit!