Château la Mascaronne is one of the wines recommended by Alistair.
The south of France is a place I would certainly like to go for a few days and given that summer may have finally arrived, a chilled glass of rosé would provide the opportunity to “dream” a little. The rosé almost seems to have become an essential part of a British summer and of course, it is the rosé of Provence that is really the rosé wine to drink.
Provence Rosé is distinctly pale in color, and if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the worldwide increase in pale rosé production speaks volumes.
Rosé de Provence is made primarily from a combination of red grape varieties such as Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, sometimes with a little Vermentino added to the blend. It is also a very convivial style, it goes well with Mediterranean cuisine based on tomatoes and is particularly good friends with grilled meats.
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Maison Castel Côtes de Provence Rosé 2020 (Waitrose £ 8.99 on offer from £ 13.49) is a good introduction to the region. Pale color with simple red fruits and a touch of citrus on the nose, followed by a lively and fresh palate with more red fruits and a crunchy and dry finish.
It’s a fairly straightforward wine but there is nothing wrong with it on hot summer days.
I recently participated in a Zoom wine tasting with the winemaker of Château de l’Escarelle and the Château de l’Escarelle Les Deux Anges 2020, Coteaux Varois en Provence (wine-boutique.co.uk £ 17, kwoff.co.uk £ 15.99) was the star for me. This is an organic wine with a fairly high proportion of Syrah with smaller amounts of Grenache and Cinsault. It is very pale in color with red fruits, nectarine, some tropical fruits and some spice on the nose, followed by an almost creamy palate and a very fresh and zesty finish.
I stayed at Chateau La Mascaronne a few years ago and it remains one of my favorite producers in the region. Château La Mascaronne Rosé 2020, Côtes de Provence (Hermitage Cellars £ 16.25) is another organic wine and is now part of the same stable as the famous Bordeaux estate Château Cos d’Estournel. Beautifully packaged, it offers aromas of wild strawberries, spices, ripe peaches and orchard blossom, the palate is beautifully balanced with acidity of red berries and pink grapefruit before a long mouthwatering finish. It is totally delicious and would correspond to a simple grilled fish.