Meet Isabelle, Terre Paisible’s brand-new, beautiful rosé

Isabelle rose

By Renate Engelbrecht

Wednesday, Mar 22

When a wine makes me want to choose a chair and take in the aromas as it blends with the air around it, I know it’s a good wine. While Terre Paisible’s brand-new rosé is meant to be finished once opened, I’ve been nurturing their old vine Sauvignon Blanc for as long as possible. The two wines – completely in contrast to one another when it comes to both profile and packaging – are delightfully elegant and definitely worth it.

Terre Paisible is based on the Wemmershoek Road in Franschhoek – an area of the winelands where the de Villiers side of my family has been farming for ages. I’ve never been to this farm specifically, but it’s clear that they know what they are doing when it comes to farming with vines and olive oil. And, while you might think that I am imagining things, I do believe that I can taste a hint of de Villiers terroir in Terre Paisible’s wines. Being located in the heart of the Franschhoek valley, Terre Paisible is on fertile flood plains of rich soils. Here, wines are carefully crafted from treasured vines.

Terre Paisible is French for ‘Peaceful Land’ and if you use even the slightest bit of imagination, you’re bound to taste exactly that – peace – in their wine. Both their rosé – a first for the farm – and their old vine Sauvignon Blanc have a smooth, velvety character that lingers for long after taking a sip.

Terre Paisible Isabelle Rosé

Isabelle Rose by Terre Paisible
Image: Supplied

I bet the farm’s view of the Simonsberg had an influence on the outcome of their Isabelle Rosé – a vibrant, floral rosé resembling strength and complexity. Isabelle is a rare rosé, that’s for sure. It’s well suited for spring and summer, but I would even suggest it for those typical al fresco early winter lunches with light lap blankets and dry leaves dangling from the trees overhead.

Adam Mason, Terre Paisible’s consultant winemaker says: “There are few wine styles that evoke the spirit of summer quite like classically styled rosés. The 2022 vintage is a blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre, sourced from a dry land farm in the Paradyskloof Valley – between the Helderberg and Stellenbosch Mountains.”

The pale salmon coloured wine with its copper hues’ grapes are whole bunch pressed before undergoing fermentation. On the nose, you’ll find vibrant fruit and florals, with notes of marzipan. The rosé has a rich, layered palate with an attractive savoury and succulent core of fruit, which reveals the benefit of lees-aging through a long and perfectly balanced finish.

Terre Paisible’s Isabelle Rosé is the perfect accompaniment for rich seafood dishes – even a lovely winter paella, if you ask me – and you can also have it with creamy pastas, or a fresh salad.

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Terre Paisible Les Dames de’87

Terre Paisible Isabelle Rose wine
Adam Mason. Image: Supplied

In addition to the Isabelle Rosé, Terre Paisible also has an old vine Sauvignon Blanc that has been dubbed Les Dames de’87. What I love about this wine, is the fact that the vines it has been made from hails from the year I was born, making it rather special and personal for me.

Harvested from 35-year-old vines, this wine showcases variety and a velvety smooth palate. In fact, tasting it blind, you might even mistake it for something entirely different to a Sauvignon Blanc. It certainly does not taste like your typical Sauvi.

The Les Dames de’87 matured on lees in a 4000 litre foudre for nine months, resulting in an impressive vin de garde profile. So, feel free to keep it for a while. It comes in a beautiful bottle with a white wax-covered cork, which gives the bottle a rather sophisticated look too.

Both these wines would make a lovely gift for those who appreciate the finer things in life.

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