Marius Peyol, Rosé, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence
It looks like 10/10 and has even got metallic turquoise on the label; what else could you ask for?! Fresh summer-fruit flavours with lemon and grapefruit peel notes accompany the restrained nose before leading to a fresh and mouth-watering palate of peach, greenguage and again, those lovely summer fruits. It finishes ever-so slightly on the softer side of dry, but is in no way cloying or flabby. No, this is seductive and generous with poise and a whole lot of summer to boot.
Looking so well is often an indication that the wine will either cost a bomb or will be a poor imitation of the real thing, that it is lacking in some way. Well, this isn't. It's good value and very tasty, and even more than that, it is from the very best place in France for this summer-ready Rosé: Provence. And not only that, it comes from the heart of the best of Provence, the Coteaux (or hills) of the region's most famous town, Aix-en-Provence.
Provence is dry because of the northern winds that are so typical throughout the early growing season (that's the Mistral) and the fact that it is one of the most southerly regions in France, making it hotter than most other regions. It's got very poor soils and only olives, scrubby bush plants and vines are able to grow in any kind of sustained manner. But that's all good by us! Included in the scrubby plant group is rosemary and lavendar and these sorts of plants and herbs are part of the group of vegetation that is often termed 'Garrigue'. These are important to us as wine drinkers because there is often a very tangible sense that these flavours influence the wines made from grapes grown with garrigue all around them. To a greater or lesser extent this happen the world over - think of Cabernet Sauvignon in Coonawara and the notes of Eucalyptus, or higher altitude Sangiovese in Tuscany that has notes of pine and woodland, Burgundy reds that reflect forest floor, Napa valley reds that reek of cash (only joking...).
This wine doesn't have that garrigue sense, and it's no bad thing, because in a fresh juicy rosé we'd probably prefer freshness and fruit in its simplicity rather than with too much complexity. In the best rosé wines you do get depth and complexity, but here, and in many others, ease of style and an ability to accompany the sunshine is the feature that is most importantly held high, and for that, we're very grateful.
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