Château Roubine
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, in Lorgues.


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).

Soils 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 trialling biodynamics.

Cellar master Pierre Gerin

The 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 countries.

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

Château Roubine Terre de Croix Rosé 2015 Côtes de Provence, France
Mourvèdre and 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 delicious. 92/100

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

Château 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

Château 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. 91/100

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, too. 86/100


Jas d'Esclans
Domaine de Fontlade
Château Pigoudet
Château Gassier
Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Côtes de Provence Vidaubannaise
Les Maîtres Vignerons de la Presqu'île de Saint Tropez

Wines tasted 10/16


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