Domaines Ott Chateau de Selle Cotes de Provence Rose 2018
Pale pink with golden tints. The nose opens with intense notes of citrus which evolve towards more floral and spicy aromas. The fresh and smooth palate displays a range of citrus notes combined with a touch of minerality which lingers on the soft and very persistent finish.
Located inland on limestone hillsides, the vineyard enjoys abundant sunshine. The proportion of stones in the soil is 40 to 50%, so the land is dry and, despite the presence of some extremely fertile clay deposits, yields are low.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
De Selle was Marcel Ott’s first estate, an imposingly rocky slope of gypsum, red clay, dolomite, gravel and sandstone in Taradeau that he purchased in 1912. The rosé it produced in 2018—a blend of grenache with cinsault, syrah and mourvèdre—is more open than the Clos Mireille: De Selle is immediately inviting in its fresh, floral scents of melon and rosemary. The urge to drink it becomes only more immediate when the tangy wine hits the palate, delivering seashell minerality like a jolt of electricity. Bright and energetic, it would make short work of a dozen oysters.
In 1896, after a tour of France’s many vineyards, Marcel Ott, a young graduate in agronomy engineering, finally found an estate that inspired him. To set the scene, we are in Provence. The Mediterranean is lapping at the shore a mere stone’s throw away...
In these parts, growing vines is the legacy of ancient times. Alas, a short while before Marcel Ott’s discovery, phylloxera had wreaked havoc on the vines. The land was cheaper, but the vineyards would have to be replanted. The wine had lost a great deal of its soul in the vineyard’s reconstruction. Marcel Ott bought several estates and began renovating them with the determined ambition to create great Provencal wines from noble grape varieties.
Today, 120 years later, cousins Christian and Jean-François Ott dedicate their life to their ancestor’s love for the site. In 2004, Domaines Ott joined Louis Roederer and its fabulous selection of wine craftsmen.
Christian and Jean-François run three estates: Château de Selle, Clos Mireille (both Côtes de Provence) and Château Romassan (Bandol). Each of these properties has its own individual charm and personality. Each can be proud of their extremely elegant rosé, red and white wines.
Cotes de Provence is an extensive but valuable appellation that includes vineyards bordering the main Provencal appellations. Its sites vary from subalpine hills, which receive the cooling effects of the mountains to the north, to the coastal St-Tropez, a region mainly influenced by the warm Mediterranean sunshine.
Here the focus is on quality rosé, as it defines four fifths of the region’s wines. Following in the rosé footsteps, a lot of new effort is going into the region’s red production as well. A new generation has turned its focus on high quality Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Carignan. Cotes de Provence white wines, which represent a miniscule part of the region as far as volume, are nonetheless worthy of consideration and can include any combination of Clairette, Semillon, Ugni Blanc and Vermentino.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color depends on grape variety and winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta.