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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Domaines Ott was founded in 1912 by Alsatian engineer Marcel Ott. Today, the wineries are owned and managed by Champagne Louis Roederer, producing some of the world’s most prestigious wines. These wines are made at three distinctively different estates: Chateau Romassan (Bandol), Clos Mireille and Chateau de Selle (both Côtes de Provence).
Located in the Côtes de Provence appellation, Chateau de Selle, the 18th century home of the Counts de Provence, was the first property acquired by the Ott family in 1912. The winery is perched high on a plateau, enjoying abundant sunshine and an arid soil.
Clos Mireille was acquired by the Ott family in 1935. The estate’s picturesque seafront location is known for its mix of shale and clay soils; the schistous soil dates back some 340 million years. The microclimate and the sea spray provide highly favorable conditions for both the rosé and the white wines. Chateau Romassan was acquired in 1956 and lies at the foot of the village of Le Castellet in the heart of the Bandol appellation. The property was entirely remodeled and re-planted over a 30-year period. The estate’s country house dates back to the 18th century and its cellars have superbly vaulted ceilings.
It was Provence that inspired the iconic bottle shape for René Ott. Using the landscape and Roman amphoras as inspiration, René carved a timeless design that embodied his vision.
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 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. It is produced throughout the world from a vast array of grape varieties, but the most successful sources are California, southern France (particularly Provence), and parts of Spain and Italy.
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 will depend on the grape variety and the winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta. These wines are typically fresh and fruity, fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to preserve the primary aromas and flavors. Most rosé, with a few notable exceptions, should be drunk rather young, within a few years of the vintage.