(2021) Well, the first thing that gives a clue that this is no 'ordinary' Provence rosé is arguably not the super-heavyweight bottle, but the 14.5% alcohol. It is made from a single vineyard of nearly 100 year-old Grenache vines, blended with a little Rolle (Vermentino), and fermented in new and second-use French oak barrels of 600-litres, where it is aged for a further 10 months with batonnage.
The colour is still delicate and appealing, but the nose is intriguing: the herbs and light floral and summer fruit scents are there, but it seems deeper, it seems as though it is a rosé that is holding something in reserve and not putting it all there from the start. In the mouth it is bone dry, and though there's a hint of passion fruit and even mango, that is soon tempered and calmed by a serious bit of structure, salts and lemon acids yes, but also an intensity of small red berries from cranberry to redcurrant, the concentration seeming to build in the mouth. It's a wine that plays mind-games with you, seeming like a typically fresh, floral and herb-strewn Provence pink one minute, perhaps a delicate and feminine Pinot Noir the next, and yet with the texture and balance of a fine white wine. Truly something exceptional and will cellar positively too. Price and stockist quoted at time of review are for the previous vintage.
(2020) From Louis Latour's Provence outpost, these vineyards at 500-metres are on sandy, clay-limestone. There's a pale to medium ruby colour, and an attractive nose of red cherries, a touch of rapberry, and a softer sheen of polished wood and sweet earth. In the mouth this has good fruit, again its that pulpy red berry fruit, soft tannins and an easy-acidity that gives this lots of drinkability. An elegant and fruity Pinot with a supple smoothness. A roast turkey banker for me.
(2020) A delightful, dry Côtes de Provence rosé that's mostly Grenache with 25% Cinsault, 8% Syrah and 7% Carignan, the nose is crammed with small red berry fruits, cranberry and redcurrants, a touch of lemon rind too. Some lees contact in tank lends texture on the palate, and it is super dry and tangy-fresh, a real sense of citrus juiciness is mouth-watering, in a delicious and gastronomic rosé perfect with a salad Niçoise or seabass or bream. Watch the video for more information.
(2020) A certified organic Provence rosé for less than £7.00 is an intriguing prospect, but I confess this wasn't one of my favourites from this small selection. A moderately pale colour, the nose offers small red berries and a faint touch of the lavender or thyme that one one hopes for, but the palate was much sweeter than would be typical, and that threw the wine's slight sense of dilution into sharp relief. I don't know how much residual sugar this has, but though quaffable enough it didn't push the bone-dry Provençal buttons that I personally look for.
(2020) From 30-year-old vines in Provence, 17,000 bottles were produced in this first commercial vintage. Much more suave and smoothly solid aromatically than the Pierres Dorées, deep scents of plum and cherry, spices and tobacco, a little chestnut earthiness. Very different indeed from the wine from Beaujolais. In the mouth there is much more structure here, firm grip from the tannins, good lively acidity, but the fruit does retain that little bit of crunch that keeps it fresh. A more substantial wine, spicy and savoury, a counterpoint to the Pierres Dorées elegant charms.
(2020) Another stylish bottle for this blend of Syrah, Grenache and a little of the white variety, Rolle. Pale in colour, and an intense nose of lime peel, small red fruits and something quite mineral and concentrated, maybe melon skins. In the mouth again there is an impressive level of fruit concentration here, more intense and powerful than many Provence rosés, but it does not lack clarity or finesse, or fresh acidity. Very good. Price and stockist quoted at time of review is for the previous vintage.
(2020) Come hither charms for this soft, pulpy red-fruited Provence pink, aromas of strawberry sunde, sherbet and watermelon and an appealing, very easy drinking palate with balanced acidity and a gentle finish. No UK retail listing at time of review.
(2020) An absolutely delightful wine, predominatnly Syrah with 20% Mourvèdre and 10% of the white grape, Vermentino, it is made from a selection of the best grapes from their best vineyards near Aix-en-Provence. The Mourvèdre component sees barrel maturation. Such an explosively fruity nose, strawberry and burstingly ripe peach, flowers and a fine salty/earthy note too. In the mouth the fruit is decisive and keen, small redcurrant berries and raspberry, but that keen, mouth-watering edge of salts and lemon giving great thrust and decisive tension. Terrific rosé. No UK stockists at time of review.
(2020) Lots of zip and appealing brightness to this, a bit of lipsticky lift and bright red summer fruits: rosehips, strawberry and watermelon. In the mouth a nicely balanced wine, with that pulpy fresh red fruit tanginess persisting, a nice core of lemony acidity and pleasing dry, textured finish.
(2020) From an estate owned by Bernard Magrez, whose portfoilio of properties includes Pape Clément, this Côtes de Provence Rosé marches to quite a different beat, from vines averaging 41 years of age and with a stated alcohol of 14.5% abv. That translates into a wine that is neither overripe nor particularly deeply coloured, but which has an intrinsic subtle power and intensity. Good, elegant and lifted red fruit notes dominate, but the palate has a real mineral salts streak on acidity along with cleansing citrus, for a concentrated and slightly more serious take on the style.