90% of wine produced in Provence is pink, which is probably just as well as the reputation for Provence rosé is such that it has a worldwide market. The development of tourism on the Côte d'Azur and proliferation of top-class restaurants have done much to increase the quality of the wines. As a result, in its 2,600-year history, the wines of Provence have never been better and the pinks especially so.
As every holidaymaker knows, Provence has the perfect, quintessentially Mediterranean climate. With 3,000 hours of sunshine, ripe grapes are guaranteed and though summers can be hot, there's enough of a breeze to cool things down, especially at night. There's plenty of choice of grapes too; cinsault for fruit and delicacy, mourvèdre for power and spice, for example. So there's more than one style of Provence rosé and it certainly isn't all chicly pale either.
The styles range from what I think of as poolside rosés; light and refreshing and often the palest of pinks, to more full-bodied wines destined for food, and everything in between. The more complex wines may even develop further with a little ageing and are usually a deeper pink, though some are deceptively light in colour too.
Just as bubbly is for celebrations, a glass of pale, crisp, refreshing pink Provence on a warm day has become a bit of a lifestyle statement (pool optional). But, for me, the real magic of rosé de Provence is its adaptability to perfectly partner so many varied dishes. Indeed, pink often holds out where red and whites fail: salads, tomatoes, eggs, mayonnaise, even garlicky aioli and piquant fusion cooking are perfect with a glass of Provence rosé.
An extensive tasting of the new vintage on a bright February day at home in north London, got me looking forward to spring and summer and I hope that it does the trick for you. Here’s to lots of sunny rosé-filled days to come!