I think of Rosé as a pretty wine. The iridescent shades of pink, salmon or coral give way to a refreshing wine that invigorates. One place that aligns itself with Rosé is Provence. The region located in the south of France is the capital of Rosé production. A prominent leader in the area and production of Rosé, The Provence Rose Group, consists of a group of wineries that are taking a unique outlook on producing Provence Rosé including the bottle’s appearance.
The decorative design of the bottles from the Provence Rosé Group stand out and remind me of classic French designer perfume bottles and atomizers. My favorite was the Château de Berne Romance with its dimpled bottle. Château de Berne Inspiration and Urban reflect a very classic styled bottle. For a more contemporary feel, Château Berne created Emotion.
The name of each wine also gives the wine flavor and expression. From Romance to Inspiration or Urban the name reflects the mood of the wine.
Under the tutelage of winemaker Alexis Cornu, the Rosé aspires with his signature. Originally from Bordeaux winemaking had always been in his blood. After graduating from Bordeaux University, studying viticulture and enology at Montpellier SupAgro, he went to Germany and Japan where he developed a palate for unique flavors and spices. This aspect of his travels comes through in some of his wines. After working at wineries in Bordeaux and Australia, Alexis became head winemaker at Château Fontenil before moving to Southern Rhône. Finally, he landed at Château de Berne.
The Provence Rosé Estates
The Provence Rosé Group represents five wineries, Château de Berne, Ultimate Provence, Château St Roux, and Château des Bertrands.
Château de Berne
Château de Berne, nestled in the Var Hills is a destination winery offering a 5 Star Relais & Château Hotel with 27 rooms and a spa. There are two restaurants; one has earned a Michelin Star. Finally, there is a cooking school.
The terroir consists of chalky beds that come down from the Jurassic ages. In limestone soil, the vineyards are planted with Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Semillon, Ugni-Blanc, Viognier, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Rolle, and Mourvédre. Most of the wines produce emphasize Grenache. The Rosés produced from this Château deliver more minerality.
Eighty percent of the wine created on this estate is Rosé with the rest being divided equally between white and red.
The Romance 2018 is light and refreshing with accents of citrus. Classified as an IGP because of the addition of Merlot, the wine combines Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah with Merlot.
The 2018 Inspiration has more structure and multilayers due to a more extended maceration period. The spicy more exotic flavors come through on this wine as if Alexis travel experience in Japan comes through on the palate.
Berne Estate 2017 utilizes the old vines on the property. The wine exhibits subtle nuances.
Ultimate Provence is an estate with a traditional Provence style yet contains an urban design. The estate, which was built on the site of Château des Launes sits in the heart of the Gulf of Saint-Tropez. The Terroir consists of schist soil. The wines from this estate emphasize the Syrah grape.
The Urban Rosé de Provence displays aromas and flavors of stone fruit especially peach accented with hints of white pepper.
Château des Bertrands
This estate was a former hunting lodge. The Château des Bertrands vineyards were established in 1964. An older estate, this Provence Rosé presents itself with subtle elegance. Hence they named one of their Rosés Elegance.
The estate dates back to the 15th century. The soils, rich in iron are composed of clay and chalk. This estate is undergoing conversion to organic farming.
Sipping any of these Provence Rosés will transport you to the Côtes de Provence where you can smell the distinct aromas of the sea due to its proximity to the Mediterranean as well as the Herbs de Provence.
Note: Common to the wine industry, this writer attended a hosted wine tasting. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure.