Chateau Miraval rosé 2013, AOC Cotes de Provence

 

 

Miraval 2013, AOC Cotes de Provence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I first tasted the Miraval rosé with the 2010 vintage (in a hotel in Mougins, just outside Nice), when it was labeled the rather garish Cuvée Pink Floyd, and was causing a buzz simply because Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie had taken a lease on the chateau. Both the 2010 and 2011 were pretty good rosé wines, but no more – not dissimilar to many Provence rosés; a little too dark in colour, a little too fruity on the palate. It is hardly a surprise that the Perrins have steered away from that style, and already in 2012 there was a feeling of restraint and pared down elegance that hadn’t been apparent before. The 2013 takes that even further and for me is a truly successful wine.

 

‘We have long been interested in making a wine in Provence,’ Francois Perrin says, explaining that some of the oldest mouvedre vines at his family estate of Chateau Beaucastel originally came from Domaine Tempier in Bandol, ‘and we have great respect for how the grapes respond to the Provence climate, particularly at the 350m altitude of Chateau Miraval – the most northerly terroir of Provence.’

 

The grapes for Miraval rosé are treated to accentuate the benefits of altitude, by being harvested early in the morning when temperatures are at their coolest, and then double sorted. The cinsault, grenache and rolle varieties undergo only a gentle direct press to release the juice, while the ‘saignée’ method is used for syrah – so running off the juice after a longer skin contact. The wine is then almost entirely vinified in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, with just a small amount (5%) in barrel with lees stirring to encourage a touch more roundness in the mouthfeel.

 

This second vintage with the Perrin team is confident from the off – no need to hawk for customers with an overly seductive blush, this is all about pale, barely-there pinks, charmingly pretty in colour. Lovely floral nose, soft fragrant roses, and from the first taste there is a delicate structure that deepens on the palate. The fruit is on the fresh summer red spectrum – redcurrants, rosehips, a dash of lime zest and wild raspberries rather than the sweet cherries of some rosés, with a savoury herbal edge. But, as the French would say ‘il y a du vin’ – meaning that there is a sense of power alongside the elegance, a structure and a fresh acidity that gives the wine persistency, with a grip of minerality that gives a delicious mouthwatering finish. An excellent second vintage, for me a serious improvement on last year, focused, flattering, delicious. 91 points / 17.5. Highly recommended. Drink now (although no need to rush) until 2018.

 

Tasted in January 2014