Domaine du Grand Cros, L’Esprit de Provence Cuvée Rosé

Le Grand Cros Cuvee RoseThe Wine of the Week
by Annette Tomei

2011 Le Grand Cros, L’Esprit de Provence Cuvée Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France

By now, most wine lovers have probably heard plenty of passionate pleas from wine professionals to drink more rosé – something along the lines of “it’s not your mother’s white Zinfandel!”. Many have discovered that rosé, in fact, frequently offers the best of both worlds – the refreshing crispness of whites with a touch of tannin and depth associated with red wines.

Rosé is probably most appreciated in (and from) southeastern France, particularly Provence, where the Côtes de Provence is the largest appellation. Nearly 85% of its production is dedicated to rosé. The most planted grapes for rosé production are Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault (all best know as reds from the Rhone region).

Domaine du Grand Cros is the Faulkner family estate (since 1989) in the heart of Côtes de Provence. It is one of the most technologically advanced producers in the region with high-tech methodology used throughout the viticultural process, including weather monitoring systems and infrared scanning for fruit ripeness. But, when it comes down to crafting the wine, hand harvesting and the close attention of a dedicated winemaking team are de rigueur.

The 2011 Le Grand Cros is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan, each fermented separately before blending. This is not the most recent vintage, so the aromas are beginning to mature ever so slightly. The wine is a beautiful pale salmon pink. The aromas are mostly mineral and earth with a touch of saffron. On the palate, this wine is bone dry, slightly astringent and minerally with flavors of beach plum and tangerine. Try this wine with chilled seafood or a salad of Belgian endive and fresh herbs topped with pan seared trout. Of course, it is also lovely on its own as we celebrate the possibility that spring has arrived (or will soon!).

Annette is the founder of VinEducation, where she is a food and beverage educator and consultant. She is also a professional chef who frequently contributes delicious recipes to EatSomethingSexy.com.

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