2010 Grand Cuvee Côtes de Provence
Cinsault •Côtes de Provence
What We Say
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Mission Codename: Leap Into Spring
Operative: Agent Blush
Objective: Visit the south of France and return with a classic Côtes de Provence Rose just in time to celebrate spring!
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Château Clarettes
Wine Subject: 2010 Grand Cuvee Côtes de Provence
Winemaker: Philippe Crocé-Spinelli
Backgrounder: The wines of the Côtes de Provence are synonymous with springtime where the Mediterranean sun kisses the vines of the south of France and are enjoyed with classic fresh coastal foods. The wines of this region must be at least 70% of Cinsault, Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah and/or Tibouren with no two varietals accounting for more than 90% of the blend. Today’s selection is predominantly Cinsault.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Brilliantly clear with pale pink with subtle salmon tints that become pale clear along the edges. when swirled, tightly spaced chubby legs cling to the upper rim and slowly descend to the wine below.
Smell – Bright and fresh aromas of both citrus and white tree fruit including tart white peach and grapefruit and even hints of red fruit also. A lovely floral component blends with limestone minerality and subtle wild and herbes de Provence that invites as sip.
Feel – Fresh and crisp, this medium-bodied dry rose has racy acidity and a touch of spice that blends with a mouth drying minerality that lingers into the finish.
Taste – Deliciously bright flavors of lively citrus, white tree and tart red fruit and even hits of tart tropical fruit blend with a touch of spice, wild herbs and textured limestone minerality.
Finish – Long, clean and crisp with lingering textured minerality that dries the palate as the lively and tart fruit and herbal notes linger on the palate.
Conclusion – The 2010 Château Clarettes Grand Cuvee Côtes de Provence is a classic rose that inspires thoughts of a lingering afternoon at a seaside cafe. Bright and racy with classic fruit wrapped in a dry and elegant structure. Pair this snappy with seafood grilled with generous amounts of olive oil and local herbs. Drink this wine young so enjoy now and through the spring and summer.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The approximate location of the Château Clarettes can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
About This Wine:
This rosé offers delightful finesse and subtlety with powerful aromas of white fruits. The palate is perfectly balanced and highly seductive. The nose is refined, with intense aromas of peaches and pears. Great length, with a well-balanced finish.
Harvest: The grapes are destemmed and pressed with care, to avoid extraction of tannins.
Vinification: The Cinsault grapes undergo a light cold maceration before pressing. The must then settles with enzymes. This clarification process produces a clear juice ideal for alcoholic fermentation, which takes place at a controlled temperature of 65-68° F. When the alcoholic fermentation is over, wine is pumped and cooled. Depending on the vintage, the malolactic fermentation is either blocked or started. In December, the wine is filtered to refine the blending phase. Bottling follows.
Terroir: Extending over 27 acres, Château Clarettes is located on a Gallo-Roman site north of Les Arcs, a typical 12th-century village. It was one of the first domaines to promote a quality initiative stimulating an association of several estates.
About The Winery:
In 1933, Château Clarettes joined the first association of vineyards in Provence and thus contributed to the quality improvements of Provence wines. In 1956, when a never-to-be-forgotten frost struck the area, Daniel Crocé-Spinelli was managing and developing the vineyard. In 1962, the estate was expanded with the purchase of Domaine du Saint Esprit.
In 1981, Philippe Crocé-Spinelli, agronomist and oenologist, and Richard Crocé-Spinelli, oenologist, inherited the estate. The vineyard was enlarged again with the purchase of Château des Arnoux. Little by little the Crocé-Spinellis reorganized the layout of the vineyards. On each plot, two grape varieties prevail: Château Clarettes is planted mainly with Mourvèdre and Cinsault; Domaine du Saint Esprit has mainly Syrah and Grenache; and Château des Arnoux features Cabernet Sauvignon and Cinsault.
Organizationally, the wine-making process is managed by Richard Crocé-Spinelli, while Philippe is in charge of the vineyards.
The Mediterranean climate enables an amiable approach to vine cultivation, without requiring multiple treatments. The effect of the mistral wind has enabled the domaine to plant parcels that are perfectly ventilated and that produce, with careful tending, exceptional wines.