Mirabeau Pure Rose 2013
In August 2009, after twenty years in the corporate world, the Cronk family, Stephen, Jeany and their three young children, relocated from London to a small village in France to follow their dream of quiet country living, more family time together, and crafting fine local wines that could grow to be regarded as one of the very best from the region.
They started in Cotignac, in the heart of Provence and spent a year finding the best vineyards to work with and putting together a highly experienced winemaking team. The family launched Mirabeau wines in 2010 and dedicated the past seven years to slowly growing the business and building strong relationships with their customers. Today, Mirabeau is sold in more than 50 markets and the collection of rosés have earned acclaim from some of the world’s toughest wine critics.
The family produces a trio of Cotes de Provence rosés, from the fresh bright style of Mirabeau Classic through the more subtle, mineral style of Pure to the newest aromatic offering called Etoile. Large formats are available upon request for Pure – up to 12 liter bottles. In addition to rosés, the Cronk Family have released a sparkling rosé in limited markets and are excited about the old vine reds that are still in barrel. The future is bright!
Cotes de Provence is an extensive but valuable appellation that includes vineyards bordering the main Provence appellations and extending all the way east to the border of Italy. Its sites vary from subalpine hills, which receive the cooling effects of the mountains to the north, to the coastal St-Tropez, a warm Mediterranean wine-producing region.
Here there is a new focus 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. 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.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.
In the Glass
The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.
Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.
Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.