Jamie Ivey the author of the Moon Guide to Provence and three award winning travel books about pale pink wine (Extremely Pale Rosé, La Vie en Rosé and Rosé en Marche) chooses his favourite Provence rosés.
If you are a fan of Miraval or Whispering Angel read no further. Neither make my list of favourite rosés in Provence. I choose a rosé firstly based on colour. Given the title of my first book its no surprise that I tend to opt for pale pink wines. Secondly I like an organic wine, made by a small independent vigneron. Mass produced wine for the international rosé market is not for me. I like something a little more artisanal. Price is of course important. Paying over €15 for a rosé is an extravagance I rarely permit myself.
- Domaine Saint Philomene Cuvee Capucine, Lambesc €7,50 per bottle.
A super example of how a so-called gastronomic rosé does not have to cost the earth. Domaine Ste Philomene also makes a basic pink for €6,20 a bottle. Its pale and crisp, but lacks the finesse of Cuvee Capucine, which spends a month in oak before bottling, giving it a pleasing roundness on the palette.
2. Domaine des Masques, Essentielle rosé, €9 a bottle
I am a big fan of this wine estate located just outside Aix on the rocky belt that surrounds Mont Saint Victoire. All the wines demonstrate remarkable freshness thanks to the altitude at which the grapes are located. The rosé is a beautiful vibrant pink colour and full of citrus notes on the palette. It’s the prefect poolside or party wine for those long summer days and evenings.
3. Chateau Val Jaonis – Cuvee Josephine €13 a bottle
Val Joanis near Pertuis is not the type of wine estate I typically like. It’s a big estate that churns out thousands of bottles of red, white and rosé a year, as well as hosting receptions, business away days, and marriages. It’s ornamental garden lures in the punters and keeps the tills turning. However, at the weekly wine tastings I conduct Cuvee Jospehine frequently tops the popular vote. The secret is a month spent in oak barrels giving this pale pink wine an added roundness and length in the mouth.
4. Domaine Mordoree, Tavel, €14 a bottle
This is the only deeper coloured Provence rosé in my selection. Domaine Mordoree is one of the top Tavel domaines. It makes a sumptuous rich rosé full of peppery notes that marry perfectly with bbqs and spicy food. It’s the perfect wine for those who like a pink wine with a bit more fruit and depth.
5. Domaine Tempier, Bandol, €24 a bottle
Saving the best to last Domaine Tempier is the reference Domaine for Bandol and its rosé is unsurprisingly one of the best in the world. There’s no flashy marketing or glitzy bottle just a wonderful wine that makes a mockery of those who contest that rosé is not a proper wine, and should not be drunk as an accompaniment to food. My only quibble is the price.