2021 Miraval Rosé, Côtes de Provence
Vivid orange-pink. Mineral-tinged red berries, orange zest and nectarine aromas show fine clarity and pick up a floral nuance with air. Juicy and focused on the palate offering sappy tangerine and strawberry flavors that deepen steadily and take on a spicy white pepper note through the back half. Finishes long, gently chewy and precise, with repeating red fruit and spice notes.
Drink 2022 - 2024
Josh Raynolds, Vinous.com (June 2022)
The 2021 vintage of the celebrity rosé is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Rolle. Perfumed pear blossom, roses and cherry candy on the nose. Cranberry and ripe strawberry on the palate, with a pinch of white pepper on the tip of the tongue. The acidity is moderate but enough, leading to a clean finish of citrus zest and rose petal fragrance.
Drink 2022 - 2025
Sylvia Wu, Decanter (April 2022)
Strongly smelling of cool fermentation. Then substantial, broad Grenachey fruit on the palate. Light smokiness and lots to enjoy here. Proper wine with a hint of salinity. Bravo, Les Perrins!
Drink 2022 - 2023
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com (June 2022)
About this WINE
Miraval is located close to the ancient town of Correns, just to the north of Brignoles right in the heart of Provence. The property is, if you will forgive the hyperbole, pretty much as close to paradise as it is possible to be, a terraced oasis nestling in the forests and scrub of the Mediterranean.
Its history goes some way to explain the magical aura which pervades the valley; located close to the Roman road Via Aurelia, Miraval was the site of a monastery in the Middle Ages, thereafter a refuge for the Bourbon kings. More recently, it has been a peaceful retreat for latter-day troubadours, its recording studio tempting the likes of Sting, Sade and Pink Floyd to record some of their finest work over the years.
Inspiration is clearly not hard to come by here. The latest incumbents are no strangers to fame and fortune; not only is Miraval the summer retreat of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, but it is also the winery where they have launched a joint venture with the Perrin family of the renowned Château de Beaucastel in the Rhône Valley.
The Roman poet Martial once condemned the wines of Provence’s capital Marseilles as “terrible poisons, and never sold at a good price”. Fortunately, this harrowing proclamation was born of envy.
Quite how long winemaking has been going on in Provence is a matter of historical debate, but it is thought that it dates back as far as the Greek founding of Massilia (now Marseilles) in 600 BC.
Although Rome tried to curtail the production of wine here so as to favour exports of Italian goods throughout the Empire, soldiers retiring from the legions undermined them by privately continuing to grow grapes in this area of France they called Provincia Nostra (‘our province’).
Like other areas in the Mediterranean, Provence has played host to a series of cultures during its history, and each one has added its own touch to the region’s winemaking, particularly in terms of grape varieties. Simply listing some of the grapes found in the province gives a good idea of this variance, as they include Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache (the most planted), Ugni Blanc, Clairette, the indigenous Calitor, Barbaroux, Rolle (Vermentino) and Sémillon, amongst others.
Provence, to the east of Languedoc-Rousillon,is blessed with a Mediterranean climate, entailing warm summers and mild winters. With an annual average of up to 3,000 hours, excessive sun is a concern for many vines. Fortunately the heat is alleviated by the northerly mistral wind, and the risk of fungal diseases is minimal – which makes Provence suitable for organic viticulture.
The region is predominantly known for its rosé wines, which account for over half of Provençal production and are usually dry. The tiny enclave of Cassis stands out as a predominantly white wine region.
Provence’s Appellations d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) are:
- Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence
- Les Baux-de-Provence
- Coteaux Varois
- Côtes de Provence (the largest appellation)
Vin de pays is also produced throughout the region.
Southern Rhône Blend
The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.
The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.
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The price of the magnum (150cl) includes a 20% promotional discount, reduced from £42 previously; it excludes BBX listings.
In the past, I’ve described Miraval’s peerless Provence rosé as “dangerously drinkable”, and the 2021 is no different. It is pale, almost imperceptibly pink – the perfect colour for rosé. This is gloriously scented with wild strawberries, forced rhubarb and garrigue. There’s more soft red fruit on the palate, with a delicate peach note and wet-stone minerality. Wines for whiling away a summer afternoon don’t get better than this.
Ready to drink now.
Fergus Stewart, Private Client Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd (February 2022)
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