Provençal Rosé

Two and a half millennia’s worth of experiment and refinement in viniculture, give or take a few centuries, surely demonstrates a commitment to getting it right. In these ancient vineyards dotted among the tumbling limestone bluffs and some still-wild scrubland, a colourful panoply of migrant tribes, religious monk orders, dukedoms, kingdoms, and empires have introduced new varieties of grapevine — adapting them as regional cultivars and a diversity of styles. In antiquity, Greek settlers farmed the maritime landscape for 500 years before Caesar strode ashore triumphantly at Marseilles in 49BC. The occupation would endure for four centuries and provide Provence with its modern name derived from the long-held Latin title, Provincia Romana. With the sudden demise of the Western Roman Empire, a succession of Ostrogoths, Visigoths and Germanic Burgondes took turns making their preferred wines before being absorbed into the Kingdom of the Franks in the 8th century. Invasion by North African Berbers, then the rising of Charlemagne’s Carolingian Empire, was followed by a litany of other feudal Frankish or Italianate kingdoms. So it continued throughout the Crusades and Medieval Periods — up until 1481 when Louis XI firmly embraced Provence as a unique territory in the France we know today. Somewhere along the historical way, Provençal winemakers finally settled on the challenges and rewards of becoming the global gold standard for the fashioning of Rosé.

When cultivating grapes, especially Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, it’s a blessing in the Côtes de Provence AOP to see 300 days of yearly sunshine; better ensuring that the fruit will have reached peak maturity by harvest. If you’re a local vintner aiming to fashion crisp and refreshing wines from these relatively robust varieties, then it’s also beneficial for the vines to experience a significant cooling-off in the evening as a respite from the stressful, daytime heat. If you’re a painter, then the vista of the Arc Valley, framed by mountains and low-lying hills on 3 sides might be as inspiring as it was to Cezanne in his landscape composition, Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley.

Call it ‘Provence’s sun-drenched bounty’ and know that it’s plentifully expressed in this week’s DéClassé recommended bottling of Gassier Sables d’Azur Rosé. It’s a classic blend of the grapes listed above, with the Cinsaut adding softness and bouquet to the salmon-pink formulation. As an excellent example of why this charming wine style continues to enjoy a renaissance of appreciation worldwide, it’s attractively bottled in the slender and curvy glass vessel known regionally as a flûte à corset: a playful association to the garment, and shapely effect. What’s not reined-in here is an abundance of delicately layered flavour. Buy 3 (at least)!

GASSIER SABLES D’AZUR ROSÉ 2016
VINTAGES – Product #33621 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 16.95
Wine, Rosé Wine
12.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: D

Made in Provence, France
By: Advini
Release Date: May 27, 2017

Tasting Note
Fresh red berry, melon, and sweet citrus zest dominate the aroma and flavours of this dry and vibrant wine. Perfect as an aperitif served alongside Sushi, salads, Prosciutto Crostini and goats’ cheeses or with mains of stuffed Mediterranean peppers, herb-roasted poultry and sweet potato gratin.

Provençal Rosé

Two and a half millennia’s worth of experiment and refinement in viniculture, give or take a few centuries, surely demonstrates a commitment to getting it right. In these ancient vineyards, dotted among the tumbling limestone bluffs and some still-wild scrubland, a colourful panoply of migrant tribes, religious monk orders, dukedoms, kingdoms, and empires have introduced new varieties of grapevine; adapting them as regional cultivars and a diversity of styles. In antiquity, Greek settlers farmed the maritime landscape for 500 years before Caesar strode ashore triumphantly at Marseilles in 49BC. The subsequent occupation would endure for four centuries and provide Provence its modern name; derived from its long-held Latin title Provincia Romana. With the sudden demise of the Western Roman Empire, a succession of Ostrogoths, Visigoths, and Germanic Burgondes took turns making their preferred wines before being absorbed into the Kingdom of the Franks in the 8th century. Invasion by North African Berbers, then the rising of Charlemagne’s Carolingian Empire, was followed by a litany of other feudal Frankish or Italianate kingdoms, and so it continued throughout the Crusades and Medieval Periods–up until 1481 when Louis XI firmly embraced Provence as a unique territory in the France we know today. Somewhere along the historical way, Provençal winemakers finally settled on the challenges and rewards of becoming the global gold standard for the fashioning of Rosé.

chateau-gassier-vineyard

When cultivating grapes, especially Grenache, Syrah, and Cinsault, it’s a blessing in the Côtes de Provence AOP to see 300 days of yearly sunshine; ensuring that the fruit will have reached peak maturity by harvest time. If you’re a local vintner working to fashion crisp and refreshing wines from these relatively robust varieties, then it’s also beneficial for the vines to experience a significant cooling-off in the evening as a respite from the stressful, daytime heat. If you’re a painter, then the vista of the Arc Valley, framed by mountains and low-lying hills on 3 sides might be as inspiring as it was to Cezanne in his landscape composition, Mont Sainte-Victoire and the Viaduct of the Arc River Valley.

Call it ‘Provence’s sun-drenched bounty’ and know that it’s plentifully expressed in this week’s DéClassé recommended bottling of Gassier Sables d’Azur Rosé. It’s a classic blend of the grapes listed above, with the Cinsaut adding softness and bouquet to the salmon-pink formulation. As an excellent example of why this charming wine style continues to enjoy a renaissance of appreciation worldwide, it’s attractively bottled in the slender and curvy glass vessel known regionally as a flûte à corset: a playful association to the garment, and shapely effect. What’s not reined-in here is an abundance of delicately layered flavour. Buy 3 (at least)!

Sables D'Azur

GASSIER SABLES D’AZUR ROSÉ 2015
VINTAGES – Product #33621 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 15.95
Wine, Rosé Wine
12.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content: D

Made in Provence, France
By: Advini
Release Date: April 30, 2016

Tasting Note
Fresh red berry, melon, and sweet citrus zest dominate the aroma and flavours of this dry and vibrant wine. Perfect as an aperitif served alongside Sushi, salads, Prosciutto Crostini and goats’ cheeses or with mains of stuffed Mediterranean peppers, herb-roasted poultry and sweet potato gratin.

Rosé Alert

The vineyards of Provence stretch northward from the Mediterranean coast to
the so-called Maritime Alps above Nice and eastward toward the Italian border.
This is a region blessed with an average of 300 days of sunshine and remains
the global gold standard for the production of crisp, dry and refreshing Rosé.

Originally from Barcelonnette in southeastern France and part of the Provençal
nobility since 1421, the Gassier family and Château are now rooted in amongst
40 hectares of vines in the heart of the Arc Valley plain at the foot of Montagne
Sainte-Victoire lying to the north, also framed by the Regagnas hills and Aurelien
mountains to the south and east. The current vineyard property is managed by
the Baron Georges Gassier, heading up the fifth wine growing generation of the
family. Situated a few kilometers outside the charming and historically rich town of
Aix-en-Provence, this relatively unspoiled geography is now classified as natural
reserve (“Grand Site de France”) after having been made famous by noteworthy
artists such as the painter Cézanne, as well as, a favoured haunt of the writers:
Frenchman Emile Zola and the American Earnest Hemingway.

This salmon-pink tinged wine is a classic regional formula, blending Grenache
with Syrah and a splash of some Cinsault for added softness and bouquet. It
stands out as an excellent example of why this charming, though still challenged,
wine style continues to enjoy a renaissance of appreciation. Unfortunately, less
sophisticated North American versions promote the idea that Rosés are, by and
large, sweet and one-dimensional wines driving down consumption of this locally
made output. As for Provence’s sun-drenched bounty, the opposite is at work,
representing about 80% of its wine making – impressively accounting for almost
35% of all French Rosé wine production!

Bottled in the distinctively slender and shapely, curvy glass vessels known locally
as ‘flûte à corset’: derived as an association to the garment and its effect. In this
case, what’s not reined in is an abundance of summertime flavour. Buy several!

Sables d'Azur

GASSIER SABLES D’AZUR ROSÉ 2013
VINTAGES – Product #33621 | 750 mL bottle
Price: $ 14.95
Wine, Rosé Wine
12.5% Alcohol/Vol.
Sugar Content : XD

Made in: Provence, France
By: Château Gassier
Release Date: July 19, 2014

Tasting Note
Fresh berries, peach and citrus zest dominate the aromas and flavours of this
dry and vibrant wine, accented with a delightfully crisp finish. It’s an excellent,
chilled apéritif or alongside pan-fried freshwater fish with lemon, sushi, stuffed
peppers, paella, prosciutto and summer salads.