Every other year in the summer, Michele and I rent a house in Provence with another couple. The husband likes Rosè wine, and since it is August, we drink a lot of it. I am always on the lookout for a good Rose and prefer the ones from Provence with their beautiful salmon color.
We are going to Provence again this year, so I was only too happy to accept an invitation to taste Rosè wines from Provence. There were only three wines presented, but it was well worth it. The wines were from Château Barbeyrolles and Chateau La Tour de l’Eveque, both owned by Regine Sumeire.
Matthieu Garcia, the assistant wine maker and Pierre-Francois De Bernard were there to represent the wineries . Matthieu said that Règine Sumeire, third generation of the wine growing family, acquired the Barbeyrolles estate in 1977. She was among the first women winemakers in Provence and has received many honors for her work.
In 1985 Règine visited Haut-Brion and afterward decided to create a new Rosè at the Barbeyrolles estate based on the advice that she received to align her Rosè with some of the white wine vinification methods. This is how “Pétale de Rose” was created.
Matthieu said that the Chateau is located in the costal land of the Maures hills. The 12-hectare estate is at the foot of the village of Gassin, one of the three villages on the Saint-Tropez peninsula. The soil is shale dating back to the Paleozoic era.
Château Barbeyrolles Rosè 2013 Cuvèe Pétal de Rose AOC Côtes de Provence. Made from 50% Grenache, 21% Mourvèdre, and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Ugni-Blanc, Rolle and Sémillon. Pierre-Francois De Bernard said that the 2013 vintage was marked by a very cold and rainy spring that delayed the blossoming. This also delayed the harvest. The flowering did not begin until May 26th on the younger vines. The hand harvest took place between September 4th and September 26th. He said that the winery has been using organic growing methods since 2005.
The grapes are hand handpicked between 5:00 AM and 12:00 PM, sorted and loaded directly into the crusher without pressing. The different varieties are vinified separately. The grapes are again sorted in the cellar. The grapes are lightly pressed to obtain optimum delicacy and fragrance. He said that they use a special technology to produce the rose using typical presses from the Champagne region, including one traditional press. Pierre said that the reason for the complexity and unique flavors of the wine is that it undergoes malolatic fermentation and is made from seven different grape varieties. He added that it could age.
This may be the best Rosè I have ever tasted. It is a complex wine with subtle fruit aromas and flavors with good minerality, a wonderful aftertaste and a very long finish. This is a Rosè to drink throughout the year and one which I associate with fine dining.
Château Barbeyrolles Rosè 2014 Cuvèe Pétal de Rose AOC Côtes de Provence Pierre said that the winter was mild and rainy. It was a warm and dry spring, which led to an early summer starting at the beginning of June. By mid–June the temperature became comfortable and there was some rain. The end of August was sunny which allowed the grapes to ripen fully. Harvest was from August 25th to September 16th. This wine was just bottled and needs more time. I would like to try it again in a year or two. The 2013 is the wine to drink now, or if you can find it the 2012. The wine retails for $40 but is well worth the money.
Château La Tour de l’Evêque Rosé 20014 Cuvée Pétale de Rose AOC Côtes de Provence. Made from 42% Cinsault, 38% Grenache, 9% Syrah, 4% Ugni-blanc 3% Mourvèdre, 2% Sèmillon, 1% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Rolle. The hand harvest took place between August 16 and September 16. This is a wine with nice red berry aromas and flavors that is very easy to drink with a nice finish and aftertaste. This is a Rosè to enjoy in a more relaxed setting. $18