Domaines Ott Chateau Romassan Bandol Rose 2017
The distinguished elegance, fullness and lovely taut character of the Chateau Romassan Rose are the result of meticulous vine tending and winemaking. Each plot is worked in accordance with its intrinsic qualities but the vines all grow in typical Bandol terroirs: arid soil (limestone, sandstone and sandy marl) and exceptionally dry, sunny weather. These characteristics ensure that Mourvedre, the major grape in this blend, fulfils its potential and provides solidity, structure and a great capacity for ageing. It is complemented by the full-bodied texture of Grenache, the softness of Cinsault and, for its small contribution, the fruity roundness of Syrah. Its pale, ethereal pink color tinted with gold or orange, releases a bouquet of citrus fruits and white orchard flowers. On the palate, the immediate effect is lively and bright, revealing notes of pink grapefruit, fleshy fruit and, once the wine has had a chance to breathe, hints of fruit tart. The finish is complex and lasting.
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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.
Provence’s leader in concentrated and age-worthy red wines, Bandol is home to the dense, deep and earthy Mourvèdre grape. Like Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Bandol produces characterful reds that, while approachable in their youth, are typically designed for the cellar.
Given its coastal, Provencal situation, Bandol also naturally produces an assortment of charming, aromatic rosés made of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault.
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.