VINS DE PROVENCE SEMINAR AND WINE TASTING
Five Star, L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills
By Kay Schroeder
The time to drive from Orange County to Beverly Hills can vary greatly depending on the time of day and traffic conditions, so opting to spend the night in Altadena and making the trip into Beverly Hills the next morning cut the 62-mile trip virtually in half. However, what a Five Star Travel Adventure that turned out to be!
If Rosé is Here to Stay, Can a Delicious Détente Be Far Away
The 28.6-mile trip took me on six different freeways: I-210, CA-134, CA-2, I-5, CA-110, and the I-10. Oh, did I mention that morning traffic on all six freeways flowed as slowly as treacle on a cold day? However once at the hotel, valet parking was a breeze and I was safely inside the L’Ermitage, two hours early. After checking out the assigned meeting room and Roof Top terrace where the events were scheduled, what better use of time than to grab a light breakfast in the hotel coffee shop. One look at the breakfast menu was a reminder that this was indeed a Five Star Hotel; the breakfast burrito was a mere $28.00, coffee a mere $4.50, “Dorothy was definitely not in Orange County anymore.
”Overwhelmingly Favorite Wine in United States, Russia, China
First on the agenda of the long awaited “2015 Seventh Annual Provence in the City Tour, Educational Seminar, and Tasting Event” was the 10:30 a.m. Tasting Seminar. Of particular interest and focus was the diversity of the terroirs and wine styles. Terroir basically refers to the belief that the land/soil the grapes are grown on impart unique qualities and tastes that are unique to that area.
The Uniting Force Just May be Rosé,
After only a few minutes, it became abundantly clear that the 36 people attending the seminar were serious oenophiles who knew wine and appeared to be very confident when expressing their opinions about the characteristics of each wine sampled, at times challenging the sommelier on his perceptions.
When presented with a rosé wine in the United States, the typical reaction is to run and hide. This reaction possibly stems from the erroneous perception that all rosé wines are sweet. Maybe not fifty, however there are different shades of rosé. The following are classified as rosé wines: Grenache, Sangiovese, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan, Cinsault, and Pinot Noir. Considering the wide-range diversity in the characteristics of these wines, you may never again think of rosé wine in the same way. Your own personal Five Star Wines in the future may range from pink to red, all thriving in the rosé spectrum.
The takeaway message from this seminar was that the summation of all the charts and graphs in the presentation was that rosé is the overwhelmingly favored, exported wine from the Provence region of France (around 80-90%) to the United States, Russia and China. Sales of rosé wines from the Provence have doubled for the last several years in a row.
The vast majority of Provence wines come from three appellations:
- Cotes de Provence AOP with its four sub-appellations:
- Cotes de Provence Saint-Victoire AOP
- Cotes de Provence Frejus AOP
- Cotes de Provence La Londe AOP
- Cotes de Provence PierrefeuAOP
- Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provenance AOP
- Coteaux Varois en Provence AOP
The Sommelier’s Analysis:
Barton & Buestier Passeport, Cotes de Provence, 2014 Rosé: 50% Grenance, 35% Cinsault, 15% Syrah. Suggested Retail Price (SRP): $15. Available Volumes for U.S. Market (AV): 120,000 Bottles.
Technical Information: Special care after picking to avoid oxidation and to preserve the typical light pink color. Short maceration period and alcoholic fermentation at a controlled temperature of (61- 64 oF). Aging on fine lees for 2 months before bottling.
TASTING NOTES: Appearance: Shiny, pale pink. Nose: delicate, mix of red berries (wild strawberry, raspberry), and flattering hints of spices and white flowers. Palate: an elegant wine full of fruit and freshness on the mid-palate. A long and refreshing finish.
? Signature, Cotes de Provence, 2014 Rosé, 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Tibouren, Suggested Retail Price (SRP): $17.
Technical Information: Cold maceration of skins and juices for 10 hours.
TASTING NOTES: Nose: Lemon, pear, grapefruit and mineral. Mouth: Voluminous, fruity, fresh and balanced.
Pentes Douces, Appellation: Coteaux d’ Aix-en-Provence, 2010, Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenance. Excellar Price: € 7.75. Technical Information: Selected parcels of vines. Hand picked on the vines and then in the chai. Aged in French oak barrels for 14 months. Non-filtered, non-fined. 30hl/ha.
TASTING NOTES: A complex nose of red and black fruits, spices, and wood with hints of flowers. Full and round in the mouth with smooth and silky tannins. A lovely finish of fruits and mild spices.
Cuvée Premium – Cru Classé. Appellation: Cotes de Provence, 2014, Rosé. Grapes: Cinsault, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Tibouren, Syrah, Mourvédre. Suggested Retail Price: Upon request.
Technical Information: Night harvesting, bleeding method (called “saignee”), skin maceration at a low temperature for a few hours. The wines are vinified separately and the temperature not exceeding 59-61oF, after letting the must settle. Malo-lactic formation avoided to ensure the crisp vitality of the rosé.
TASTING NOTES: The rosé obtained is typically Provencal, to be enjoyed as aperitif or with summer cooking, Asian dishes.
In the Final Analysis for the vast majority of wine drinkers, trust your palate; if it tastes good, drink it!
Provence Winemakers’ tours were held March 2 in New York City, March 4 in San Francisco, and March 5 in Los Angeles. These events were open to credentialed members of the trade and media.
Photography: Kay Schroeder
287 S.Robertson Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211