Here at FWW, we are pretty much sorted for the Rosé tap being turned on here on the Côte d’Azur! The sun is out (at last!!), the sky is blue, the ports are a-buzzin’ with Yacht activity and yes, we have stock of all the usual suspects. The Rosés everyone seems to want; the names and funny shaped bottles, you need to be seen drinking if you are a yacht guest or owner somewhere down über cool St Tropez way…..we’ve got them for you!
We were invited to the launch of the Domaine Ott new vintage wines last month on the Plage Keller on Cap d’Antibes. Even as a non-beach fan, I could see the appeal of the location and as the sun went down we were more than happy to taste our way through the three Ott estates. Yes we kicked off the tasting with the Mirabelle plum scented Blanc de Blancs white from Clos de Mireille, and yes, we rounded the evening off with the Bandol rouge from Ch Romassan; smoky, tarry but lacking real fruit definition. But the main “sandwich filling” for the evening had to be a great opportunity to contrast and compare the Rosés from the three estates!
The home of the dry white, Clos de Mireille gave us a delicate rosé with barely any fruit, a gentle whiff of redcurrant, a bit of strawberry – not much else! Maybe it was just out of the starting gates in terms of bottling, but it wasn’t over exciting! 4 /10.
Next the Ch de Selle, Côtes de Provence, which had always previously been my preferred one from Ott. Surprisingly, almost no colour at all! Deceptive when poured from magnum, once in the glass, it was almost nude and I fear most Yacht guests would declare that they ordered rosé wine, so “what the hell is this??” More melon than red-fruit, and fruit jelly character – pleasant enough, but I do think striving for that pale a colour will leave guests perplexed as to what exactly it is they are supposed to be experiencing! 6 /10.
Finally, the star of the show and so the decision maker when questioning what was to represent this famous Provence house as FWW’s chosen Rosé. A no brainer! The Bandol offering from Ch Romassan was so much livelier than the other two and had more spirit and guts and pzazz and oomph! Slightly deeper colour – still pale, but that distinctive apricot wash that one associates with coastal Provence pink wine. Fruit reminiscent of rhubarb and redcurrants and Wimbledon strawberries and cream. Good length too. 7 /10
So as the sun started to slip down over the Cap and the distant port of Antibes with its bobbing yachts, the inner warmth of just one too many glasses of rosé and the realisation that very, very soon our lovely coast would be madly busy with sun-worshippers, yachties and the Riviera elite – all sipping cool, refreshing and juicy rosé wine. Here’s to a good long Summer!