Impressions: Domaine Illaria has long been the benchmark producer in Irouléguy. This is a gastronomical rosé, much like sturdy Rhône rosés of Tavel, as it will stand up to richer dishes. Gorgeous notes of ripe strawberries, rhubarb, and cranberries stand in front of earthier tones of bell pepper skin and hibiscus. The palate is elegant with a concentrated juicy-silky texture that finishes with a slight tannic bite. Concludes with a lengthy fruity, peppery and slightly herbal finish.
About The Producer: One of Irouléguy’s longstanding producers is Peio Espil at Domaine Ilarria. In fact, until 1990, he was one of just 2 independent producers in the appellation. In this part of the Pyrénées, where the mountains begin to lose altitude as they weave their way toward the north of Spain, large domes of green grass cover the mounds—more so than snow that covers the granite peaks seen further east. It is a bucolic setting, with hundreds of sheep grazing the hills and where elongated white houses with red tile roofs dot the countryside.