I recently attended a trade tasting sponsored by the Provence Wine Council. (To read an introductory 2014 rose article on The Provence Wine Council and Provence Rosés and their phenomenal growth in the US click here ).
At the trade tasting in Los Angeles, there were 27 producers represented pouring 69 different wines with the great majority being rosés. Many of the producers were looking for a US importer. For despite soaring sales of Provence Rosé in the US (see the article mentioned above for details), there is a lot of Provence Rosé made each year. There are some 600 producers of Provence Rosé that make around 2000 different rosés each year. Some 88% of all wine made in Provence is rosé and most of it is consumed in France. For, despite almost doubling since 2008, only 18% of Provence rosé is currently exported to the US. So, over time, we should continue to see more and more new Provence Rosés here in the US.
At the event I tasted 13 different 2014 rosés from the following 6 producers:
- Chateâu de Brigue
- Chateâu de Réal d’Or
- Chateâu Roubine Cru Classé
- Chateâu Saint Maur Cru Classé
- Domaine du Grand Cros
- Gassier en Provence
As I briefly mentioned in my earlier article, the 2014 Provence Rosés are particularly bright and crisp. They have a lot of finesse and charm and, most importantly, are absolutely delicious. These are wines that are must buys! My tasting notes follow. (Note: Where available, the prices quoted are suggested retail prices. Prices will vary across the country).
Chateâu de Brigue
The vineyard domain Château de Brigue started in 1970 as a family venture. Following the founder Roger Brun’s steps, his son Fernand developed the domain and today, the third generation winemakers and brothers Jean-Michel, Christian, Olivier, and Frederic Brun carry on the tradition in this family owned estate of winery, vineyards, and olive grove. Through the accumulated dedication and know-how of each generation, Château de Brigue raised to an institution of superior winemaking and one of the largest family domains in Provence.
The domain extends over 120 hectares (300 acres) of vineyards in the heart of sun basked Côte de Provence wine country along the legendary Nationale 7 road, between Aix en Provence, Cannes, and Saint Tropez in the South of France. The wines of Chateâu de Brigue are imported by Wine Agencies Inc. & Jeff Welburn Selections Woodland Hills, CA.
2014 Chateâu de Brigue Signature Côtes de Provence Rosé
This rosé is made with 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, and 20% Tibouren. There are about 6000 cases available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color, this rosé has a lovely citrus tinged perfume with floral notes and hints of peach. Crisp and bright with citrus tinged fruit and faint floral notes the wine has a lot of charm – Highly Recommended. $17
2014 Chateâu de Brigue Brigue Prestige Côtes de Provence Rosé
Made with 50% Grenache and 50% Cinsault there are some 3300 cases available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color with a lovely perfume showing hints of citrus, peach, and strawberry this rosé has lovely berry fruit with subtle floral and citrus notes. It is elegant and flavorful with a lovely crispness – Outstanding. $22
Chateâu de Réal d’Or
Under new ownership for the last 5 years, 2014 is the first year of production from a new state of the art winery. The current owner is a third generation member of wine growers from the Jura and Provence. The vineyards average about 30 years of age and consist primarily of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. The wines of Chateâu de Réal d’Or are imported by Accolade Brands Studio City, CA. 2014
2014 Chateâu de Réal d’Or Côtes de Provence Rosé
This rosé is made with Cinsault, Grenache, and Syrah with about 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. There are about 6250 cases for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with hints of berry and citrus. Very elegant, yet bright crisp and flavorful, this is really lovely – Highly Recommended Plus. $18
Chateâu Roubine Cru Classé
I first visited Chateâu Roubine in September, 2011. It was a very impressive and memorable visit. I wrote an article entitled “Three Cru Classé Ladies of the Côte de Provence”. The article featured Chateâu Roubine Cru Classé and Valérie Rousselle; Chateâu de Saint-Martin Cru Classé and Adeline de Barry; and Chateau Sainte Roseline Cru Classé and Aurélie Bertin Teillaud (to read that article click here ). All of these wineries are making stunning rosés which you can read about in the above article. Unfortunately, the Chateâu de Saint-Martin Cru Classé wines are not imported to the US and the Chateau Sainte Roseline Cru Classé wines are available here in limited quantities, but were not represented at this tasting. With regard to Cru Classé wineries in Provence, here is the background taken from the above referenced article: There are 14 wineries classified Cru Classé in the Côtes de Provence. This ranking was done in 1955. And, this area is one of only two areas in France where the classification is by wine estate. The other is Bordeaux where the classification was done a hundred years before in 1855. All other classifications in France are by vineyard area, including Burgundy and Champagne.
Located in the middle of Provence, Château Roubine is one of the oldest wine estates in France. With a history dating back some 2600 years, it was owned by the Templars Order until the 13th century when it came under the ownership of the Saint James of Jerusalem Order. It was acquired by the Allaman family after the French revolution and then sold in 1855. In 1923 Henri de Rohan Chabot inherited Chateau Roubine and rented it to the Ott family. In 1994 it was acquired by Valérie Rousselle-Riboud and her husband, French fencing champion, Philippe Riboud.
Thirteen different varieties of grapes are grown at Château Roubine. Château Roubine today encompasses some 320 acres with 178 acres of vineyards surrounded by forests. An ancient Roman way called “Julienne” runs through the middle of the property. There is also a tasting room, winery, chateau, and guest quarters. Everything here is immaculate. This is a beautiful place to visit. (To visit the website click here ). The wines of Château Roubine are imported by Maison Albert Bichot Fairfield NJ
2014 Chateâu Roubine Cuvée Premium Cru Classé Côtes de Provence Rosé
This rosé is made from Cinsault, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Tibouren, Syrah, and Mouvèdre. There are just over 4100 cases available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with herbal notes and a faint spice tinge. It is crisp and bright with subtle berry fruit showing floral and herbal nuances with a very faint spiciness – Highly Recommended Plus.
2014 Chateâu Roubine Cuvée <<R>> Côtes de Provence Rosé
This wine is made from selected tanks of wines from the Northern Côtes de Provence appellation. It is assembled, aged and bottled by Chateâu Roubine and consists of Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault. There are about 2500 cases available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with faint berry nuances. It is floral, bright, and crisp with very nice floral tinged fruit – Highly Recommended.
2014 Chateâu Roubine Tête de Cuvée Inspire Cru Classé Côtes de Provence Rosé
Made from Tibouren and Syrah there are 500 cases available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a gorgeous perfume with hints of peach, citrus, apricot, and strawberry accented by a floral note. It is very expressive with beautiful balance and lovely complex fruit flavors hinting of melon, peach, and citrus with underlying notes of floral spice. Supple and elegant with a bright underlying crispness, this is a stunning rosé – Outstanding Plus.
Chateâu Saint Maur Cru Classé
Already the owner of the Quinta do Pessegueiro in the Douro for more than 25 years, Roger Zannier took up the challenge of turning the Château Saint-Maur into one of the finest references in Provence, entrusting the fate of this Provencal gem to his son-in-law, Marc Monrose. Situated in Cogolin, just 10 km from Saint-Tropez, to the west of the plain that links the foothills of the impressive Maures mountain mass to the sea. In the distance, at the top of its hill, arise the ruins of Grimaud Castle. Nestled at its feet are its packed houses, and then the vines that cover the hillsides between scrub land and cork oaks. The wines of Chateâu Saint Maur Cru Classé are imported by Private Cask Imports Palm Beach FL.
2014 Chateâu Saint Maur Clos De Capelune Cru Classé Côtes de Provence Rosé
This approximate 26 acre plot was acquired in 2012. It is at the highest elevation of any vineyard in the Côtes de Provence. There are about 125 cases of this wine available for the US market. It is made from Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Rolle.
Very pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with hints of melon and citrus. With great finesse, it is bright and crisp, yet elegant with subtle hints of citrus, melon and peach and beautiful balance – Outstanding. $60
2014 Chateâu Saint Maur Cros L’Excellence Cru Classé Côtes de Provence Rosé
This is the prestige cuvée from the domaine. It is made from Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, and Rolle. About 500 cases are available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with hints of citrus and peach. Crisp and elegant with hints of peach, melon, and orange zest accented by a faint floral quality this is gorgeous with great appeal – Outstanding. $45
2014 Chateâu Saint Maur Cuvée M Cru Classé Côtes de Provence Rosé
This bottling constitutes the majority of the domaine’s production. It is made from Grenache, Tibouren, Cinsault, and Syrah. There are just over 4100 cases available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with hints of peach. It is bright and crisp with floral citrus nuances and shows a lot of finesse – Highly Recommended. $25
Domaine du Grand Cros
Le Grand Cros is first a story about a couple, Jane and Hugh Faulkner, who fell in love with a little corner of Provence in 1989. On the 24 hectares of vineyards in the foothills of the Massif des Maures, surrounded by pine and olive trees and dry stone terraces, they restored an ancient Provencal manor house and brought a new lease of life to Le Grand Cros. In 1999, their son Julian joined them to take over the reins and carried out major restructuring of the vineyards and upgrade of the winery. This enabled us to better respect the great potential of our terroir and the environment…The wines of Domaine du Grand Cros are imported by Maritime Trading Company San Francisco, CA.
2014 Domaine du Grand Cros L’Espirit de Provence Côtes de Provence Rosé
Made with Grenache and Syrah there are just over 650 cases of this wine available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a lovely floral perfume with hints of peach and melon. It is bright and crisp with subtle berry fruit and faint hints of citrus with floral notes. Elegant and beautifully balanced this is a delicious rosé – Outstanding. $19
2014 Domaine du Grand Cros Côtes de Provence Rosé
This wine is made with Cinsault, Grenache, and Mourvèdre. There are about 1700 cases available for the US market.
With a pale salmon color this rosé has floral perfume with a hint of strawberry. Bright and crisp with floral berry notes and a kiss of citrus, this wine is well balanced with a lot of finesse – Highly Recommended. $14
Gassier en Provence
Nestling in 40 hectares of vines at the foot of the Mount Sainte-Victoire and just a few kilometers from Aix en Provence, Gassier en Provence occupies a privileged position at the crossing of the three Provence appellations. From this central location, Gassier is fully dedicated to sublimate two estates: Château Gassier and Château Beaulieu. The wines of Gassier en Provence are imported by Bronco Wine Company Napa, CA.
2014 Château Beaulieu Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence Rosé
This rosé is made with Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Cinsault. There are about 4200 cases of this wine available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color this rosé has a deep floral perfume with hints of strawberry and melon. It has very nice fruit with a faint exotic tinge and floral citrus notes. Soft, elegant, and rounded with a nice underlying crispness this is a lovely rosé – Highly Recommended Plus. $16.99
2014 Sables D’Azur Côtes de Provence Rosé
Made with Syrah, Cinsault, and Grenache there are about 13,300 cases of this wine available for the US market.
Pale salmon pink in color this is a lovely rosé with a floral perfume with hints of citrus and a very nice citrus tinged crispness on the palate. Very nice berry fruit flavors show a floral note and the wine has a lot of charm and finesse – Highly Recommended. $12.99
As is my practice every year, I plan on tasting and drinking a lot more 2014 rosés as they arrive. I suggest you do the same. And, stay with the Underground for notes on many more 2014 rosés through the spring, summer, and fall. Remember: A DAY WITH SUNSHINE IS A DAY FOR ROSÉ!