13 Dec Terroir and the rosé wines of Provence
Pale pink in color, it is easy to think that rosé wines from Provence are the same, or at least very similar. But while they may look alike, they are not. Rosé from Provence can be made from Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Vermentino, Clairette, Semillon, and Ugni Blanc. Different blends of these grapes result in different wines. In addition to grape blends, different soils will give different results. And so, not all all rosé wines from Provence are the same, which I wrote about in the Napa Valley Register and share here.
Provence in Southern France is synonymous with rosé. The oldest wine region in France, dating back 2,600 years, Provence is considered the birthplace of rosé in France. And rosé wine represents 90% of the region’s overall wine production.
Rosés from Provence are known for their pretty, pale pink color and elegance. But, while they may look alike, not all rosé wines from Provence are the same and the wines of Domaine Ott are perfect examples.
Domaine Ott was founded in 1912 by Alsatian engineer Marcel Ott. Domaine Ott produces rosé that comes in uniquely recognizable bottles. With three estates, two in Provence and one in Bandol, Domaine Ott rosé wines are more than elegant and beautiful. Domaine Ott rosé wines express terroir.
The primary grapes used in the production of Provence rosé are Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan and Mourvèdre. The dominant soil types in Provence are limestone, granite and schist. The different grape blends, as well as the different soils, produce different results.
Château de Selle, Côtes de Provence
Château de Selle is a 345-acre property located inland in the Côtes de Provence. There are 160 acres planted on limestone hillsides. Winters are mild and summers are dry with abundant sunshine.
The 2021 Domaine Ott, Château de Selle Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France is a blend of 55% Grenache, 30% Cinsault. 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Syrah. The grapes are handpicked, sorted and direct pressed with short skin contact. Fermentation takes place in tanks and then the wine is aged in oak casks for six to nine months.
The wine is pale with a delicate pink hue. The wine has mineral and savory notes, as well as aromas of grapefruit, stone fruits, red berries, lime pith and crushed stone. On the palate, the wine is energetic with fresh acidity and a saline finish.
Clos Mireille, Côtes de Provence
Clos Mireille has 124 planted acres overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in the Côtes de Provence. Here the soils are a combination of schists and clays, and there is no limestone. And, due to the proximity of the sea, the warm air in the vineyard is cooled by the sea.
The 2021 Domaine Ott, Clos Mireille Rosé Côtes de Provence, France is a blend of 70% Grenache, 25% Cinsault and 5% Syrah. The grapes are handpicked, undergo selective sorting and are then delicately pressed with short skin contact. Fermentation takes place in tanks for 8 to 12 months and then the wine is bottled.
The wine is pale pink with golden flecks. The nose is expressive with notes of citrus, white peach, grapefruit, lemon pith, honeysuckle and raspberry. On the palate, the wine is fresh and vibrant with a long mineral finish.
Château Romassan, Bandol
Château Romassan has 148 planted acres in the Bandol AOC, an appellation within Provence and located less than an hour west of Clos Mireille. Bandol is one of the sunniest places in Provence, and Mourvèdre is a primary grape in the area. The soils in Bandol are composed of limestone, sandstone and marine marls. The vines are planted into terraces where they are exposed to the sea air.
The 2021 Château Romassan Bandol Rosé is a blend of 55% Mourvèdre, 30% Cinsault and 15% Grenache. Like the other rosé wines of Domaine Ott, the grapes are handpicked, selectively sorted and delicately pressed before fermenting in tanks and then spending 6 to 8 months in oak casks.
The wine is a light peach color had as aromas of citrus, white flowers, red berries, wet stone and savory herbs. On the palate, the wine is juicy with long savory and mineral finish.
These three rosé wines from Domaine Ott are from three different vineyards in three areas of Provence, each with a different combination of grape varieties grown on different soils. These are three elegant and quaffable wines, but they are not interchangeable. Each one represents a sense of place and reflect that not all rosé wines from Provence are identical.
Read the original story in the Napa Valley Register.
More information on Provence Rosé styles
Check out the Crush On This video on Provence Rosé styles.