Brad & Angelina’s Wine

It’s tailgate season, time to raise a toast to Tiger football glory. Put a special Mizzou stamp on your spread with a refreshing rosé from the vineyard of MU dropout Brad Pitt.

Château Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé shot to the top of A-listers’ wine lists in 2013 when Pitt and Angelina Jolie released the first vintage — a 2012 rosé — produced from their Provençal estate. A partnership with winemaker Marc Perrin yielded a pink wine that scored 90 points on Wine Spectator’s 100-point scale. The first 6,000 bottles sold out in five hours. That fall, Miraval landed on Wine Spectator’s list of the 100 best wines of the year; at No. 84, it was the only rosé to make the list.

The Jolie-Pitt wine venture continues. Now in its third year of production, Miraval is widely available in the United States, including here in Pitt’s old stomping grounds. The 2014 Miraval is a blend of four grapes: Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle. This is a very nice rosé, light and delicate. It carries an aroma of sweet strawberries and hint of summer peaches, leading to a strawberry/raspberry flavor with just a trace of oak spice. Bright acidity keeps it fresh tasting with a clean finish. At 13 percent alcohol, this wine is food-friendly and a versatile pairing partner. Serve it well chilled with brats, wings, burgers, pizza or anything grilled; try it with fried chicken, salads, sushi, pasta, cheese plates and fruit. Or, enjoy it as a solo sip. It’s all good.

The rosé reflects the unique terroir of Château Miraval. The estate is its own valley, with terraced vineyards in clay, slate and limestone soil. Big temperature swings between sunny days and cool nights bring optimum ripening.

Renowned winemaker Perrin works his magic in the winery, direct pressing the Cinsault, Grenache and Rolle but bleeding off juice (saignée) from the Syrah. Stainless steel tanks vinify all but 5 percent of the wine, which goes to oak barrels.

Both Pitt and Perrin say they’re exploring ways to shake up the Provence appellation — as if they haven’t already. The two talk of “super Provence” red wines, similar to the super Tuscans of Italy. But for now, the pretty pink rosé is the star of this venture.

Imported by Vineyard Brands and distributed by Glazer’s, Miraval Rose is available in various locations in Columbia. Check with your favorite local wine merchant.

House Of Brangelina

Château Miraval in northern Provence is located at the foot of the Via Aurelia, the Roman road built to expand the empire in the third century B.C. The 1,000-acre estate traces back to a 13th-century monastery that still produced wine from the ancient Roman vineyards. Subsequent owners included the royal family of Naples and reinforced concrete inventor Joseph-Louis Lombot, who built the massive wine cellar in 1850.

Jazz pianist Jacques Loussier installed a recording studio when he owned the château in the 1970s, hosting sessions for the likes of  Pink Floyd, Sting, Sade and the Cranberries. American Tom Bove took over in 1993, and with Famille Perrin produced Pink Floyd Rosé. Bove rented the estate to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in 2008. The couple bought Miraval in 2011 and married there in 2014.

The château winery produces two other wines, both whites: Miraval White Coteaux Varois 2014, a Grenache Blanc/Rolle blend, and Miraval Provence, from Rolle grapes.