When someone mentions Provençal wine, what comes to mind? Rosé, right? Fresh, spicy, perfect rosé: the kind of wine that makes you crave Bouillabaisse or some other suitably “Mediterranean” repast.
Yes, Provence’s identity as a wine zone is inextricably linked to rosé. That’s not a bad thing, but to miss out on the whites and reds of the region – yes, they make those, and they can be awesome – is like going to a great restaurant and only ordering an appetizer.
This is where Chateau Simone comes in. Perched on a high-altitude limestone outcropping in the small AOC of Palette, just south of Aix-en-Provence, this historic estate is the ne plus ultra of Provençal wine. Theirs is a hyper-traditional, hyper-regional approach, incorporating a mélange of classic local grapes and employing the most old-school vinification techniques. Their vineyards face mostly north at elevations ranging from 500 to 750 meters, enabling their wines to retain freshness even in hot Provençal vintages.
Chateau Simone’s rich, herbaceous, exotic white is comprised primarily of Clairette, with dashes of a host of other varieties, including Bourboulenc, Picpoul, Sémillon and several others. Their brambly red is a similarly rich amalgam of ingredients on a base of Grenache and Mourvèdre.
And then there’s the Simone Rosé. Based on the same blend as the Château’s red, this is a hearty, complex, deeply “serious” style of rosé that goes far beyond the “quaffer” category. It’s a rosé you might enjoy as much in the middle of January as the middle of July. Across the Simone lineup, what you are tasting is the essence, and history, of Provence – not just a rosé factory but a truly great wine-producing region.
(Banner Photo Credit: chateau-simone.fr)