Part 9, in Selling Pleasure: the incredible success story
of Provence rosé, with visits to some key producers
So I was back in Provence again, for another
visit, some two years after the last. The first stop was
Château Roubine, Côtes de Provence,
Château Roubine is an estate vineyard in one contiguous block of 90
hectares. It claims to be one of the
oldest vineyards in France, dating back to
the Templars in the 14th Century. It is
crossed by the Roman Road, and also by the small stream that it
derives its name from (in ancient French, this is a roubine).
are argilo calcaire (clay/limestone) and
there’s some variation across the vineyard, with the left part a bit
higher than the right. 13 different
varieties are planted. It’s in conversion to organics, and will be
certified next year (2017). For eight years, they have been
current owner, Valerie Rousselle, bought
the property in 1994. Production is 1.2 million
bottles per year, of which 60% is rosé, 25% red and 15% white.
30-40% is exported to 40 different
Winemaking depends on the temperature and the variety. Most of the
grapes are machine picked at night, beginning at 3 am and finishing
at 8 am. The grapes go to the press and it is closed. Maceration
varies from none for Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, to 3 or 4 hours
for Mourvèdre or Tibouren. Most get 1-2 hours. Enzymes are used
after pressing for quick sedimentation, and fermentation is with
clear juice. Half way through fermentation they might fine to adjust
the colour with PVPP or casein.
Château Roubine La Vie en Rose Rosé 2015 Côtes de Provence, France
50% Grenache with Cinsault, Tibouren and Syrah. Pale in colour.
Fresh and very fruity with pure rounded pear, spice and subtle
cherry notes, as well as a trace of anise.
Textural and appealing. Dry and quite attractive. 89/100
Château Roubine La Vie en Rose Brut Rosé NV IGP Méditerannée, France
Very fresh and rounded with some strawberry and cherry notes.
Good acidity and a hint of sweetness to the fruit. Charmat method
fizz with lovely fruity expression. 87/100
Château Roubine Premium Rosé 2015 Côtes de Provence, France
Pale in colour. Textural with a fresh sappy hint to the cherry
fruit, together with some pear, grape and fennel. Lovely mouthfeel
to this wine: there’s an elegance and purity here, with nice fine
grained structure to the fruit. 91/100
Château Roubine Inspire Rosé 2015 Côtes de Provence, France
25€ for this high end rosé, based on Tibouren and a small
portion of Clairette. Distinctive and highly aromatic with notes of
green herbs, cabbage, red cherries and stewed plums. Textural and
distinctive. Has a herb and mandarin edge as well as some citrus
fruit. Distinctive and intense with real focus and a nice mineral
finish, which persists with some apricot and herb. 92/100
Roubine Terre de Croix Rosé 2015 Côtes de Provence, France
Tibouren. Distinctive sappy, herby cherry fruit nose leads to a
textured palate with rounded, slightly spicy citrus and cherry
fruit. Broad and bold with a lovely savoury quality, this is quite
Château Roubine Premium Blanc 2015 Côtes de Provence, France
Ugni Blanc, Semillon, Clairette and Rolle. Fresh and supple with
lovely citrus, pear and fennel notes, as well as a hint of lanolin.
Textural and quite stony with depth of flavour but also freshness,
avoiding heavier notes. Stylish. 90/100
Château Roubine Inspire Blanc 2015 Côtes de Provence, France
Rolle and Semillon with a part barrel fermented. Nice weight and
texture here: real finesse to the mandarin, pear and fennel notes.
Some limey freshness, coupled with some spiciness from the barrel
fermentation. Has richness and a rounded finish. 90/100
Roubine Terre de Croix Blanc 2015 Côtes de Provence, France
Semillon and Rolle
barrel fermented and aged in 400 litre oak. Lovely distinctive
citrus fruits here with herbs and anise. Textured, detailed and fine
with a nice spiciness. Has a deliciously warm savoury character.
There’s a bit of oily, lanolin character under the dense citrus
fruit. Lovely wine. 93/100
Château Roubine Premium Rouge 2014 Côtes de Provence, France
Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Carignan and Syrah, unoaked.
Savoury, spicy, peppery and meaty with dense, grippy black fruits. A
little rustic but with lots of flavoure. 87/100
Roubine Inspire Rouge 2013 Côtes de Provence, France
Syrah domiant with a
bit of Cabernet Sauvignon. Spicy blackcurrant and black cherry nose
is quite floral. Supple, peppery, slightly meaty palate with
attractive ripe black fruits. Has concentration and also freshness.
Château Roubine Terre de Croix Rouge 2014 Côtes de Provence, France
Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. One third new oak. Sweet
chocolatey nose leads to a palate of blackberry pie and vanilla.
Ripe, sweet style that’s a real crowd-pleaser. Some roast coffee,
Maîtres Vignerons de la Côtes de Provence Vidaubannaise
Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu'île de Saint Tropez