Cotes de Provence - France
From the Bottle
'...48 hectares...in the heart of the Cote d'Azur. Made from Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah & Rolle, this cuvee is attractively coloured, fragrant and seductively long'
Price £10.99/ £9.49 - Majestic Wine single bottle/mix six
Provence roses are all the rage at the moment but I have to be honest and say they overwhelmingly underwhelm me. Pink wines are like fruit tea. They look good and smell absolutely divine, full of promise and bursting at the brim with fruit aromas, but when it comes to the crunch they lack flavour and guts.
This wine is a beautiful light coral with aromas of strawberry, peach, red cherry and white floral notes. So far so good... onto the palate and it actually tastes of something, hurrah! Red cherry and peach comes through to say a welcome hello with a hint of grapefruit citrus. Well balanced acidity with a decent body which would enable it to match with freshwater fish like sardines, trout and salmon.
Definitely one of the better roses I have tried and pretty good just on its own in the sun. Although do note that being quite delicate on taste whilst still being 13.5% abv it's a creeper upper!
Rating - Worth scraping your pennies together for
This is the quote famously attributed to a French monk called Dom Perignon when he first tasted the sparkling splendour that we now know as Champagne and which many believe to be the moment that bubbles were born. However, whilst Perignon is important to the world of fizz, he wasn't the creator.
Effervescence in wine has been written about since the Ancient Greeks and Romans although back then they thought it was to do with the Luna cycle and the spirit world, but in 'relatively' modern history the purposeful making of sparkling wine did start in France just not where you would imagine.
The oldest recorded sparkling wine is Blanquette de Limoux (roughly translated as white of Limoux) based on the Mauzac grape, invented by Benedictine Monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire, near Carcassonne in 1531. It would seem that those monks just love a glass or two of sparkly stuff!
They achieved this by bottling the wine before the initial fermentation had ended, referred to now as the rural or ancestral method.
Fast forward a century and an English scientist and physician Christopher Merret documented the addition of sugar to a finished wine to create a second fermentation 6 years before Dom Pérignon set foot in the Abbey of Hautville and almost 40 years before it was claimed that the famed Benedictine monk invented Champagne! Merret even presented a paper at the Royal Society in 1662 describing what is now called methode champenoise or should that really be methode anglais? Either way I was lucky enough to try lots of it on my recent adventures to Bollinger and Veuve Clicquot.
It's been a month since I last blogged (I REALLY need to be more disciplined) and jeez has a lot happened! In European news alone the UK voted to leave the EU, there was an attempted coup in Turkey and another tragic attack occurred in France and that's just scratching the surface. It feels a little shallow and hollow to blog about wine when the world seems to be in such chaos, but aside from trying to keep myself up to date with news and promote tolerance towards other humans, I feel there isn't much more I can do than 'Keep Calm and Carry On' and so with the greatest respect I move onto matters I am more adept to dealing with.
In my personal life the last month has also seen a few changes. I've moved within my company and am now technically the Fine Wine specialist. It's an opportunity to learn about great wines, logistics and distribution but I do feel like a bit of a fraud when it comes to selling them. It's not like I can just rummage about the back of the sofa for change to buy a casual bottle of Chateau Latour and whilst it would be a fantastic experience to try, it somewhat goes against my ideal that wine should be open to everyone.
In other news I've taken unit 6 of my diploma - Fortified Wines - which I'm currently awaiting the results of. Not that I'm holding out much hope, it was pretty damn difficult. Tip Top: Do not think they won't test you on the less 'important' wines like Madeira, VDNs or cream sherry - I got them all.
Moving on to more positive things, today the sun came out! Apparently summer will last for the next 3 days this year. I've made the most of it by cracking open the pink drink. Currently sipping on Famille Abeille Rose -Provence, 'tis good.
There are quite a few other things I could ramble about such as my 2 recent trips to Champagne and a great book that I'm reading which looks at anthropology of wine, but they deserve separate blogs.
So for now readers I bid you goodnight, till my next blog (which will be sooner than a month!)