Jill BarthTasteWines and Spirits of Provence

Why Some Provencal Rosé Gets Better with Age

Rosé wines are one of the first categories to be released in Provence, and you’ll start seeing the most recent vintage hit the shelves as early as February and right on through the spring and summer season. It’s no secret that rosé has a reputation for being a drink to enjoy young, fresh, chilled, and often during summer months. The bright acidity, appealing freshness, and charming citrus and red fruit characteristics of rosé make it a worthy companion for fresh seafood, salty snacks, and warm-weather produce. Many of the most enjoyed rosés from Provence are crafted—from vineyard to bottle—with this atmosphere in mind.

However, the question remains are there Provencal rosés that can and should age? Continue reading here to find out in Jill’s L’Occasion blog post.

Ageing Rosé

In French, rosé de garde are wines intended to keep for a while. When making a rosé de garde, the winemaker will employ specific choices around oak use, blending, skin maceration, and lees contact to produce a wine that will gain a level of complexity after a few years in the bottle.

There are several vineyards and Appellations d’Origine Protégée (AOPs) in Provence, where winemakers produce rosé wines meant for ageing. Watch for wine from these AOPs:

Côteaux Varois en Provence. The vineyards of this AOP cover shy of 50,000 acres. The territory is located inland to the north of Toulon, with some 28 communes located near Brignoles. The total annual production of rosé (90%), red (7%) and white (3%) is roughly 17 million bottles.

Bandol – In wine circles, this area has a reputation as one of Provence’s top appellation d’origine contrôlées (AOC) since 1941. The Massif de la Sante-Baume slope stretches to the sea, creating a natural amphitheatre. Late-ripening grapes flourish in the limestone soil with plenty of sun, gentle sea breezes and shelter from the mistral winds.

Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence – This appellation maybe small at 4000ha, but there are 67 domaines and 12 cooperatives.

Cotes de Provence Sainte-Victoire

Côtes de Provence-La Londe

Côtes de Provence

Tavel has distinctive, flavourful rosé wines that are deep pink. These rosés have reached legendary status for being structured and having a deep, lasting flavour.

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Jill Barth

Jill Barth

Jill is a writer whose characters make wine, love wine, and live wine. Research for her forthcoming novel–the story of a Provençal winemaking family during the Second World War–has afforded her glorious pleasures: meetings with ambitious French vignerons, travel up and down France in bouncy Renaults, overnights in shuttered châteaux, and many hours as a student of wine with a glass to her lips. In this role, she not only enjoys her own relationship with wine but she also indulges in the life of the French winemaking family that inhabits the pages of her novel.

Jill writes about wine, travel and occasionally yoga (she’s a certified yoga instructor). Her fiction has been featured on NPR and has been published in several literary journals.

Her writings can also be found on her blog L’Occasion.

Follow along with Jill on twitter and instagram.

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