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Provence

Despite being the probable place where the ancient Greeks first established the vine in France, Provence was for many years happy to thrive on its tourism and pay scant regard to its wines.

This was a travesty, as the climate and conditions are absolutely ideal for viniculture and their potential is now beginning to be exploited. The Côtes de Provence and Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence are the workhorse appellations that quench...

Despite being the probable place where the ancient Greeks first established the vine in France, Provence was for many years happy to thrive on its tourism and pay scant regard to its wines.

This was a travesty, as the climate and conditions are absolutely ideal for viniculture and their potential is now beginning to be exploited. The Côtes de Provence and Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence are the... read more.

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the thirst of the holidaymaker, but Bandol, Bellet, Cassis and Palette are much smaller areas that produce wines of quality and character for the more discerning drinker.  

The one threat to the continuing rise of the wines of Provence is competition for land as development seeks to push out the vineyards.  Hopefully sense will prevail, for it would be an unhappy new home without a fine local bottle to toast it with.

Styles of Wine

Provence is a region that was once dedicated to rosé, and this still accounts for two-thirds of its wine, but more recently its reds have emerged from the shadows and, though small, white wine production is ever improving.  The rosé was once little more than a pleasing holiday tipple, but improved techniques and dedication have ensured that the best is now worthy of bringing home as well.  The reds, meanwhile, are achieving excellent results.

Key Vines

There are great similarities with the Rhône and the Languedoc-Roussillon in terms of the vines that are grown.  Grenache and Carignan are the main contributors to rosé, and along with Cinsault, Syrah and Mourvèdre they also make the majority of the red wines.  Clairette, Ugni Blanc, Rolle and Marsanne are important grapes in the production of white wine.

International varieties have made recent headway in Provence.  Cabernet Sauvignon is at the forefront of this, though Pinot Noir, Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc have also enjoyed success.

Climate and Terroir

Extending from Nice in the east to the Rhône in the west, the climate is a reliable Mediterranean one and the soils are varied but favourable.  Warm summers and rain in winter, as well as a topography that provides shelter from the harsh Mistral winds, means that the Provençal grape grower has little to complain about.  A lack of expertise and ambition, rather than nature, has been his or her traditional foe.  Thankfully, attitude and environment are now equally sunny.

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  1. Mas de Vigneron Rouge, Pays de Vaucluse

    Mas de Vigneron Rouge, Pays de Vaucluse, 2014 75cl

    Smooth and soft on the palate this is definitely an easy drinker. That is not to say that it doesn't have a backbone and robustness however, and it's this that makes this stand out amongst other Vin d'Pays.

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    £6.18
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    £6.70
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    £5.15
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    £5.58
    each Excl. VAT
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  2. Racine Côtes de Provence Rosé

    Racine Côtes de Provence Rosé 2015, France 75cl

    Fresh, vibrant summer berries with a hint of white rose petal on both the nose and palate. This is a light bodied wine with a refreshing, racy mouthfeel. Ideal for summer drinking.

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    £9.54
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    £10.10
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    £7.95
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    £8.42
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  3. William Chase Rosé, Luberon

    William Chase Rosé, Luberon France, 2016 75cl

    The man behind Tyrell's crisps and Chase vodka has turned his hand to wine, and with great success. This rosé is in the classic Provence style with light summer fruit aromas and a dry refreshing palate.

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    £14.34
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    £16.50
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    £11.95
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £13.75
    each Excl. VAT
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  4. Noilly Prat Dry

    Noilly Prat Dry 75cl

    Made from the blending of twenty herbs, revealing a distinctively rich, almost nutty, flavour.

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    £12.78
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    £14.10
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    £10.65
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £11.75
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