I Love French Wine – A Cotes De Provence Rose

We are now entering the last roundup for rose wine this season. Today’s offering comes from a family who has lived in famous Provence since the Thirteenth Century. But these upstarts have only been in the wine business since the turn of the century (1900). About sixty years later they purchased the local chateau whose name is on the label. It was formerly the summer residence of the Archbishops of Toulon. This wine is made from Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault grapes and five others including Rolle. You may want to visit the village of Pierrefeu, an example of a Provence village that hasn’t been touristified. Ourcompanion wine is a bargain basement white Zinfandel (another rose).

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review were purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Chateau de Tour de l’Eveque Rose, Appellation Cotes de Provence, 2010 13.5 % alcohol about $17.

We can start by quoting the marketing materials. “Description: The cuisine of Provence seems to have a real affinity for the region’s best roses. Very crisp and dry, this wine delivers flavors of strawberry, cranberry and spice. An ideal match for a homemade aioli (the great garlicky dipping sauce) with grilled shrimp, or pan-seared scallops grilled in butter and garlic.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine started out somewhat flat but subsequently good acidity and light strawberries came through. Japanese rice crackers with a Wasabi pea expanded the wine. The initial meal was an omelet perked up with majoram, garlic powder, dried basil leaves, black pepper, and a Middle Eastern spice mix. Now the liquid was slightly metallic, and tasted of raspberries. When paired with a white bean humus the rose was long with good acidity but little fruit. The accent of roasted garlic tapenade had no effect on its acidity but brought out the taste of light raspberries.

The following meal featured a boxed baked Ziti Siciliano. Now the wine was metallic with a tinge of sweetness. It offered great length and balance. When tasted with a garden grown fresh tomato the wine was syrupy, and I noted wood. Dessert was Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream. In response this drink thinned. Don’t waste it on ice cream.

My final meal centered on a commercial barbecued chicken leg. I had the taste of metal in my mouth along with slightly harsh, lemony acidity. It was nice and round and the wine’s acidity dealt well with the chicken’s grease. Talking about grease, one side was potatoes roasted in chicken fat. In response the drink picked up sweetness but the dish’s saltiness came through. I don’t know about you but I really hate salt in my wine. When paired with zesty guacamole this wine was long and fruity. Dessert, bittersweet Swiss chocolate, muted this libation full time.

Final verdict. While it came fairly close I will not buy this wine again. I’m not that wild about roses, even those coming from Provence, and there’s a lot of competition at this price.

Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines and a whole lot more. Visit his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com.

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