National Rosé Day may have passed (it was this past Saturday, June 10th, in case you missed it—and if you did, shame on you!), but my Summer of Rosé continues! Last fall, I spent a week in Provence, hosted by the CIVP (Le Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence), which I started to recount two weeks ago, and continued last week.
Day three began with a boat trip from Sainte-Maxime across the Golfe de Saint-Tropez to the town known to many by the Bain de Soleil commercials (”Bain de Soleil for the Saint-Tropez tan.”
Brigitte Bardot (France’s Marilyn Monroe) visited Saint-Tropez in the 1950s and transformed the sleepy fishing port into a jet-set destination almost instantly. Today, the town has struggled (I would say successfully) to maintain its innate charm as millionaires’ yachts struggle for moorings in the city’s Vieux Port.
The day we pulled into the port, the town was in the midst of Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, an international yachting competition that consumes the Vieux Port and provides endless photo opportunities.
We walked up away from the Vieux Port through the Marché aux Poissons on the Place aux Herbes, on our way to the Place des Lices, where we would find the weekly market and (hopefully) our lunch provisions for the day.
We gathered our satchels and loaded up the van for the short drive to Domaine de la Croix et de la Bastide Blanche, a brief 12 kilometer drive inland.
Domaine de la Croix (AOC Côtes de Provence) is a fairly big production (650k bottles—85% rosé, 10% red, and 5% white) and is owned by the same company that owns Canal Plus (France’s answer to HBO). They have nearly 250 acres under vine (that’s a lot) and have Michel Roland as a consultant (he is kind of a big deal to many).
As a general rule, I do not take notes (or many photos) during meals on trips, instead preferring to enjoy the food and the company. Call me old-fashioned. There were a few wines, though, that stood out:
2015 Domaine de la Croix Eloge Blanc: 100% Rolle. Aromatic and lush. Wines like this make me wish that a) Provence made more white wine and b) they sent it all to the U.S. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2015 La Bastide Blanche Rosé Bandol: Mourvèdre, Cinsault, et Grenache. The Bandol AOC is not part of the Le Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence (CIVP), so we were not really supposed to taste this wine (it was a CIVP sponsored trip), but I was glad we did. Really pale color & a light nose. A bit light on the palate as well until a spicy, lingering finish. After some time I revisited, and it really opened up with some delicate fruit and fantastic flavor. Outstanding. 90-92 Points.
2015 Domaine de la Croix Organdi Rosé: Retail 23€. 45% Grenache, 45% Syrah 10% Mourvèdre. Organdi is a local fabric which represents elegance and voluptuousness. The wine is made with only fee-run juice and possesses an expressive nose of white flower and red berry. On the palate, this might be my favorite rosé thus far on the trip: Lush fruit, impressive depth. Might get a Whoa. Outstanding. 92-94 Points.
After lunch, we loaded back into the van, and we were off to another winery, but that will have to wait until next week so that I have time to figure out where we were going.