Provence is one of the few places I have visited that is exactly as I envisioned it to be. It has an ease about it – whimsical, but not flippant. The air is filled with faint notes of sea salt and lavender. The meals, manger à l’extérieur, linger under large chestnut trees. The wines embody the Provençal sense of relaxed sophistication.
Peter Mayle told The Telegraph in July 2010, “The thing I love about Provence… is the pace of life, which is so gentle, and even when they’re being busy, everyone is quite relaxed. The atmosphere is consequently very easy-going and I’ve always found the locals friendly.” I experienced this gentle pace of life when I spent a week in Provence in the fall of 2016. This month the #Winophiles are exploring three Provence rosés – the perfect wine of summer. Provence is a large wine region. It is divided into three main appellations – Côtes de Provence, Côteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, and Côteaux Varois en Provence. Côtes de Provence is the largest of these three; therefore, it is further divided into four sub-appellations.
Provence rosés are blended wines crafted from five main grape varieties: Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and a native variety called Tibouren. However, Provence rosés may also include Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Counoise. Although Provence is 88.5% rosé, they do produce 8% red wine, and 3.5% white wines.
The wine samples shared with the #Winophiles come from two wineries within the Côtes de Provence AOP – Chateau de Berne and Ultimate Provence.
Chateau de Berne is located in Lorgues, 25 miles from the Mediterranean Sea. The 1,235-acre estate dates back to the 12th century. In 1995, the estate underwent major renovations to be transformed into a wine tourism site. Today, it is a five-star property with luxury hotel rooms, a spa, the Michelin star restaurant Le Jardin de Benjamin, a cooking school, and 330 acres of vineyards.
Ultimate Provence is located near the village of La Garde – Freinet, about 30 minutes from Saint-Tropez. The 100-acre estate has recently been renovated to include an amphitheater for live concerts and movies, as well as artist residences and a family-style restaurant featuring local cuisine.
The wines we tasted are as follows:
2017 Chateau de Berne Inspiration Rosé Côtes de Provence France ($19.99): 70% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 10% Syrah; pale peach; soft aromas of orange blossom, peach, apricot, dreamsicle; under-ripe strawberry; dry and delicate on the palate, high acidity, easy to sip and enjoy or pair with food; overall I enjoyed the orange-ness of this wine. I paired this wine with barbeque grilled chicken, grilled corn on the cob, and watermelon feta salad. It was a perfect summer meal.
2017 Chateau de Berne Emotion Rosé Côtes de Provence France ($16): 50% Grenache, 25% Cinsault, 25% Syrah; pale pink; soft aromas of cherry, strawberry, watermelon, citrus, and acacia; dry with pronounced acidity, crisp and refreshing; perfect to enjoy with or without food. I paired this wine with an array of delicious Thai food for a perfect manger à l’extérieur summer meal.
2017 Ultimate Provence Urban Rosé Côtes de Provence France ($22.99): 45% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 15% Syrah; 5% Rolle; pale melon; inviting notes of cherry, strawberry, watermelon, violet, and dried herbs; dry with high acidity, elegant and refreshing, crisp finish. I paired it with grilled steak topped with chimichurri and succotash for a flavorful summer meal.
Please check out my fellow #Winophiles thoughts on these Provence rosés:
Robin from Crushed Grape Chronicles shares “Côtes de Provence through Rosé Filled Glasses”
Mardi from Eat Live Travel Write shares “From Rosé? No Way! To #RoséAllDay”
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares “Warm Weather Rosé and Cheese Pairings”
Lynn from Savor the Harvest shares “Obscure French Rosé to Look for Today”
Gwendolyn from Wine Predator shares “#RoséAllDay with Grilled Cheese Gourmet for #Winophiles”
Nicole from Somm’s Table shares “Cooking to the Wine: Ultimate Provence Urban Rosé with Herbed Sous-Vide Chicken Breasts and Roasted Eggplant Sheet Pan”
Jane from Always Ravenous shares “Summer Cheese Board with Rosé”
David from Cooking Chat shares “Always a Good Time to Sip Provence Rosé”
Jill from L’Occasion shares “Why Rosé Matters, According to French Culture”
Liz from What’s In That Bottle shares “Live a More Rosé Life”
Martin from Enofylz Wine Blog shares “The Pleasures of Provençal Rosé #Winophiles”
Payal from Keep the Peas shares “Provence Wine Experience”
Lauren from The Swirling Dervish, shares “Celebrating Our New Home with an Old Friend: Rosé from Provence”
Julia from JuliaConey.com shares “Rosé: Not from Provence but Just as Delicious”
Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Soupe au Pistou Paired with Rosé”
Join us as we sip and discuss these three wines and Provence tomorrow at 10CST on Twitter using #Winophiles.