BB Review: Château Sainte Croix Charmeur Côtes du Provence Rosé
Caro needs a holiday. Bad. Real bad. So we set out to create a pretend summer rosé soirée for her in Angela's living room and she brought along some bright accessories to help her mentally escape the endless English grey. Oh, and she brought some rosé (from her homeland, no less!). Was it a successful substitute for actual sun? ☀️🕶💕
BOTTLE: Château Sainte Croix Charmeur Côtes du Provence Rosé 2016
WHERE WE BOUGHT IT & PRICE: £13.00 from Fromage & French
ABV & TECH SPECS: This is a blend of Cinsault (50%), Syrah (25%), Cabernet Sauvignon (25%) and the ABV is 12.5%
ABOUT THIS WINE: Arguably one of rosé's most famous homes, Provence is a historic region found in the South of France, bordered by the Rhône River to the west and the Côte d’Azur on the east.
The region is blessed with a great vine-growing (and holidaying!) climate, with lots of sunshine, not-too-much rain, warm days and cool evenings. The Mediterranean moderates the temperatures and the famous Mistral wind keeps the vineyards dry and free of pests. A variety of grapes can be found growing here for making rosé as well as whites and reds. The varietals used in the region's rosé wines will often be the usual suspects of Cinsault (also spelled Cinsaut), Grenache and Mourvèdre.
BEHIND THE BOTTLE: Established in 1927, Château Sainte Croix sits on 50 hectares in the town of Carcès. Family-owned for four generations, the estate was a former fortress built in the 12th century by Cistercian monks.
FUN FACT: Wine has been made here for over 2600 years, making Provence the oldest wine-producing region of France! In fact, it also boasts a research institute solely dedicated to rosé wine. We're not scientists but that sounds like a science we can get behind!
WHY CARO CHOSE THIS WINE: This is a wine I’ve had in my booze cabinet for a few months, after Gaëlle, the owner at Fromage & French in Tunbridge Wells, informed me it was made in a small vineyard just a stone-throw away from her holiday home in the South of France. Now, that’s the kind of hook that makes my eyes glitter and my ego feel privileged. I had to have it.
CARO: I like the shape of this bottle - shame that the label resembles the shit nacre-finish wallpaper my sister had in her bedroom in the 90’s. That’s the average French bad taste in decoration for you*.
That label screams BASIC BITCH to me, which is definitely not what this wine is about. It looks like Apple’s rose gold, smells of peaches and blossoms, and tastes like a slightly floral summer fruit punch. Beautiful layers and balance that makes you want to sip a cocktail under the sun, basically. But just like a singapore sling, I bet it will hit you right in the face after a couple. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
*Cue hate mail from my compatriots.
ANGELA: A classic onion skin Provence colour that you get with Cinsault dominant wines. The aroma is a little savoury, perhaps a bit of white pepper with a touch of soft strawberry. The palate offers red fruits with a herbaceous side of bay and thyme. Pretty, refreshing and zesty and definitely a wine to transport you to sunny times.
KATE: Mmmm. This rosé is giving me sunshiny summertime realness. Hot sandy beaches, sticky-sweet ice cream, slightly burned shoulders and powdered sugar. After a good, healthy sip, it coasts the mouth like a rosé oil spill and douses ever little bit of tongue in strawberry and salt water loveliness. Would I drink this rosé on a boat? You bet I would. Would I drink it on a roof top? Absolutely. Would I drink it in the tiniest patch of sunshine I could find on a cold spring day? Check, check and check!
WOULD WE HAVE ANOTHER GLASS? We're grabbing Caro's teal sunnies, her Lonely Planet guide and an ice cold bottle of this and we're dreaming of sunnier times until the endless springtime rain finally lets up. Good plan, right?