The French #Winophiles commence 2022 with our host Jill Barth from L’Occasion choosing Provence. Mark and I brushed the edges of this large region a few times yet have not landed there overnight. However, the wines of Provence– white, rosé and red– have landed in our glasses several times! They are in many Winophile glasses today too, so scroll down to find a list for your reading enjoyment.
Rosé With Gabay
When I read Jill’s invitation post, it took me back to February 2020 when Mark and I went to WineParis, one of several large wine business events in Europe. This is where I attended a rosé master class with rosé expert Elizabeth Gabay, MW. Back then, I had read reviews about her recently released book, Rosé: Understanding the Pink Wine Revolution.
The book discusses the history, grape varieties and winemaking methods of rosé. It takes the reader through the regions it is made around the world, including the heart of the rosé revolution in Provence. She shares details about many producers and finishes with the business aspects of rosé. In this book, you will discover the global array of expansive rosé styles.
Rosé from all over the world is often in my glass thus I did not miss the opportunity to listen to and learn from Gabay, a very nice person. And of course I purchased her book!
And now two years later, I (and many wine people I know) dream of going back to this type of wine event.
Bandol in My Glass
Over the holidays, I uncovered older bottles in the back of our wine fridge. We pulled corks and one was from Bandol, a key appellation (AOC/AOP) in Provence around the Mediterranean coastal town of Bandol.
While Bandol AOP is more famous for red wines made from the Mourvèdre (aka Monastrell), Grenache Noire and Cinsault grapes, a small of amount rosé is made featuring these three grapes plus a few more. Here is a list of all grapes grown in Bandol on the Provence WineZine website.
Rosé with Château de Pibarnon
Mourvèdre is the marquee grape at Pibarnon. Slow-ripening, it favors being higher; the majority of the Pibarnon vineyards are planted to Mourvèdre at just under 1,000 feet (300 meters). They receive roughly 3,000 hours of sunshine above the coastal fog, perfect for this late-ripener.
They also grow Grenache Noir and Cinsault and the white grapes Clairette and Bourboulenc.
Farming is organic, methodology is minimal intervention, and harvest is by hand.
Château de Pibaron Bandol Rosé 2016 – 65% Mourvèdre, 35% Cinsault
Juice from these grapes arrive into the fermentation tank via two different methods. The Cinsault is directly pressed while the Mourvèdre is saignée, or bleeding off a portion of the juice. It’s really free run juice and since it spent some time in contact with the skins and seeds, a bolder character comes through.
A long fermentation– about one month– is followed by aging in stainless tanks for 6-months.
And now, five years later we opened this wine and it was gorgeous! Yes some rosés are ageable, especially when containing a good dose of Mourvèdre. The small clusters don’t mess around and the grapes yield powerful tannins.
Rich, softly structured, persistent flavors and balanced, Mark and I were delighted to sip this wine and both commented we caught it at “un trés bon moment”.
It presented spice, red fruits, floral and stern elegance. You need to find a bottle to discover it yourself.
We enjoyed gloriously warm weather, ending up on our terrace that evening and sipped this with my version of a salmon poke bowl. What I call a gastronomic wine, we couldn’t ask for a better combo with roasted shiitake mushrooms, caramelized onions and red peppers, avocado and slightly saline fresh salmon. The sesame sauce highlighted the dish while letting all the flavors come through.
Conveniently, the Pibarnon website has a “Where To Find Our Wines” function. I wish all winery websites did the same!
The French #Winophiles begin 2022 in Provence
Please enjoy the wealth of information on Provence wines, food and culture in the following articles from wine colleagues:
- A Red Wine from Provence? Yes, meet Bandol; a New Old Wine paired with a Slow Cooked Goulash from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- The Art of Miraval in Provence and a Lovely Drunken Seafood Stew from Our Good Life
- Bandol – A Provençal Red for the Winter Tablefrom Food Wine Click!
- Embrace Rosé de Garde, Age-Worthy Provençal Wine on L’Occasion
- Weekend Brunch Starts with Rosé from Coteaux d’Aix en Provence from Grape Experiences (Note, check out Cindy’s upcoming Southern Rhône cruise with AmaWaterways, which culminates in Provence.)
- A Provençal Wine for Winter: Domaine La Suffrene Rouge on Avvinare
- Rosé all year with Côtes de Provence on Wining with Mel
- Pasta au Gratin + Ste. Venture Aix en Provence Rosé on Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- A Different Perspective from Provence: Chateau Vignelaure Coteaux D’Aix from Wine Predator… Gwendolyn Alley
- Rosé With Elizabeth Gabay and Château de Pibarnon here at Savor the Harvest