Château Les Valentines rosé
AOC Côtes de Provence, 2018
|Origin:||France / Provence / Côtes de Provence|
|Grape variety:||Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre|
|Maturity:||1 to 4 years|
|Serving temperature:||8 to 10 °C|
|Drinking suggestion:||Grilled fish, Fish terrine, Meat salad, Giant crevettes, grilled langoustines, Vegetable flan, quiche|
|Vinification:||fermentation in steel tank, fermentation at low temperatures|
|Harvest:||in small boxes|
|Maturation:||in steel tank|
France – Philosophy in a bottle
According to French philosophy, wine should be an expression of the soil and climate. They use the word “terroir” to describe this. Terroir makes every wine different, and many especially good. French wine is regarded worldwide as an expression of cultural perfection. The French believe that humans are responsible for the quality of the berries, the vine variety for their character, and nature for the quantity. This philosophy can be expressed succinctly as: “the truth is the vineyard, not the man.”
Château Les Valentines
Not far from the picturesque towns of Nice and Saint-Tropez, the owners of Château Les Valentines, Gilles and Pascale Pons, produce wines that reflect the summery lightness and intense sensuality of the beautiful Provence countryside.
Ever since the two owners turned their backs on the IT industry in Paris in 1997, they have dedicated their hearts and souls to the wines of Château Les Valentines. The estate is more than a century old and was recently extended by a modern building. The château and one of its wines are named after the two children Valentin and Clémentine. The former owners were so-called grape growers who sold their grapes to the local cooperative for further processing.
Located above the vast bay by La Londe-les-Maures, in the AOC Côtes de Provence, 35 hectares are planted with Ecocert-certified organic Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tibouren, Rolle, Clairette and Ugni Blanc. These are old vines at an average age of 30 years. They produce rosé cuvées such as the elegant and mineral Château Les Valentines and Le Caprice de Clémentine, its fruity and delicate little brother. The Pons family vinify a total of 75% of their grapes into rosé wines, 20% into red wine and 5% into white wine.
A hint of pepper
The legend stubbornly persists that the Syrah variety came from the Persian city of Shiraz. Yet, researchers have shown that it is a natural crossing of two old French varieties: the red Dureza from the Rhône Valley and the white Mondeuse blanche from Savoy. Wines from Syrah are gentle and concentrated. They smell of dark berries, violets and liquorice, and amaze with a piquant touch of white pepper. As varietal wines, they are found on the northern Rhone, as in the Hermitage or Côte Rôtie appellations, as well as in Swiss Valais. In the southern Rhône Valley, Syrah is often wedded with Grenache and Mourvèdre. In 1832, a Frenchman brought the variety to Australia, where it became the emblem of the national wine industry. There, the weightiest versions develop with typical notes of tar and chocolate.
It cannot be hot enough for the Monastrell grape. It grows around the Mediterranean, where the summers are long and hot and the winters mild. At only 200 metres in elevation, or 80 kilometres from the coast, its grapes have problems ripening. It was likely born in the Valencia region. According to written records, it was already counted among the most important varieties in 1460. Its exact origin is thought to be the Camp de Morvedre area. From there, it migrated in the 17th century to Provence, where it was christened Mourvèdre. Its wines are deeply dark, with intense blackberry aromas, rich tannins and moderate acidity. They enter into the most beautiful harmonies with other varieties from the south, such as Garnacha, Carignan or Syrah. The Mourvèdre is the main ingredient of red wines of Bandol; it also flows into the Châteauneuf-du-Pape. On the Spanish Levante coast, it is also pressed solo.
Grenache seldom comes alone
Spaniards and Sardinians make the Grenache contentious: both claim it originated from their country. In fact, it had already appeared in both places by the 16th century. But a large number of mutations in Spain indicates that it has deeper roots on the Iberian Peninsula. The Grenache is meaty and spicy, with a wonderful, fruity sweetness and rich aromas of blackberry, cassis, plums and pepper. Under the name Garnacha, it contributes fullness to the Rioja. In Sardinia it is called Cannonau, where it yields strong, expressive wines. But its stronghold is in France. Grenache is the star in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and streams into many other assemblages from the south. Its preferred partners are Syrah and Mourvèdre. This blend is also very popular abroad. In Australia, these wines are simply called "GSM".
Sun in a glass
The southern French Cinsault, also written Cinsaut, is a curiosity among the grape varieties. It belongs to the so-called “dyer grapes”. These are red grapes in which the pigments sit not only in the skins but also in the flesh. That means, when the Cinsault is pressed, pink juice results, rather than the white you see from other grapes. Previously, the Cinsault was used to spice up lighter-coloured Burgundy. But now it has become emancipated. With a soft, fruity style, seductive raspberry and strawberry aromas and good aging potential, it mixes with the most renowned growths from the southern Rhône, around the Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Solo, it yields wonderfully aromatic rosés.