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a rosé picture including some selections under €15

A trip to the south of France this week to mark our latest run of good weather. Temperatures have been pretty much unbearable this Summer in that part of the world so maybe we are better off sipping these in our gardens in Ireland instead.

It is a little too early to tell what the dry weather will do to the vines but I expect this to be an early harvest with many vineyards picking their whites in August. I will be having a conversation from with a winemaker from the Languedoc later this week and will report back next week.

Two new wines featured below are from Domaine des Jeanne in Luberon (formerly Côtes de Luberon). The Jeanne Estate is owned by Jeanne and Mervyn Davies, the latter a Welsh Peer and former Minister for Trade under Gordon Browne so I’m guessing he didn’t vote for Brexit.

The wines are only in Brown Thomas at the moment but can also be bought online. I tasted my way through the range and found them eminently drinkable

The back labels of the Estate wines are pleasingly nerdy with a GPS location of the vineyard given, along with the altitude, the age of the vines, the rootstock, the soil, and the size of the vineyard all listed.

As well as the wines suggested below I also recommend the Janne Vaucluse Blanc which is floral and fruity (a blend of Viognier, Roussanne and Grenache Blanc) and the ripe luscious Grenache-Syrah blend entitled “Légende” (€26) which is their limited edition flagship red. There are also some light sparklers in the range.

O’Briens have an organic sale on this month and you will find some good Southern reds whites and rosés and a couple from Gérard Bertrand including his excellent Cigales for €31.

I originally intended to only include Provence wines but the region is not as well represented on our shelves as you might imagine. Bandol seems to be absent from most lists but do always watch for it – Dom. Tempier in particular which is now imported by Vinos Tito having formerly been a stalwart of Joe Karwig’s range. 

Tempier Rosé is still the best I’ve tasted and I adore their Grenache and Mourvèdre-based reds which are available from Mitchells, 64 Wines and some other online shops.

Wine under €15

Fleurs de Prairie, Vin Mousseaux de France - €12.99
Fleurs de Prairie, Vin Mousseaux de France – €12.99

Fleurs de Prairie, Vin Mousseaux de France – €12.99

Stockist: Aldi

This charming fizz from Aldi has a distinct Provençal look and character but is actually from the Languedoc. A blend of Grenache and Syrah, plus Carignan, Cinsault and Mourvèdre – this pours a pretty pale pink colour, with floral red fruit aromas with citrus back-notes all of which transfer to the palate. Dry, crisp and refreshing – feel free to add strawberries.

Château Gairoird, Côtes de Provence Organic Rosé - €14.95
Château Gairoird, Côtes de Provence Organic Rosé – €14.95

Château Gairoird, Côtes de Provence Organic Rosé – €14.95

Stockist: O’Briens

This is on sale this month reduced from €19.95 and for some reason I’ve never mentioned it before. This Estate is in the same family since 1824 and converted to organic around a decade ago. Pours a pretty pale pink/gris colour with citrus and light raspberry aromas – fruity and crisp with more weight than expected.

Domaine Begude ‘Terroir 11300’, Languedoc - €13.95
Domaine Begude ‘Terroir 11300’, Languedoc – €13.95

Domaine Begude ‘Terroir 11300’, Languedoc – €13.95

Stockists: O’Briens

This is part of O’Brien’s Organic sale which runs this month and is reduced from €18. Begude’s wines are solid across their range and this cooler climate Limoux Chardonnay is packed with textured apple and pear flavours with a pleasing citrus freshness. There is a touch of oak which rounds it out but is by no means intrusive. Try with fresh mackerel.

Wine Over €15

Esprit Jeanne 2020, Luberon AOP, Provence - €16.00
Esprit Jeanne 2020, Luberon AOP, Provence – €16.00

Esprit Jeanne 2020, Luberon AOP, Provence – €16.00

Stockists: Brown Thomas Stores (brownthomas.com); or via www.domainedesjeanne.ie

Dom. des Jeanne refer to this their “signature rosé” and it is exactly as you would hope. Pouring onion-skin pink with aromas of strawberries and lemon zest this has pleasing ripe red fruits on the palate with a prickle of white pepper and grapefruit on the mid-palate and a solidly fruity finish.

Dom. des Jeanne Prestige, Vaucluse IGP, Rhône - €17.00
Dom. des Jeanne Prestige, Vaucluse IGP, Rhône – €17.00

Dom. des Jeanne Prestige, Vaucluse IGP, Rhône – €17.00

Stockists: Brown Thomas Stores (brownthomas.com); or via www.domainedesjeanne.ie

This is from the Vaucluse Départment in the Rhône just over the border from Luberon (the landscapes are largely indistinguishable). Made from Syrah with typical tar and blackcurrant aromas, prune and blackberry fruits, and a pleasing fruit-driven palate. Its more luscious big brother “Légende” (€26) is also recommended.

Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé, France - €30-32.00
Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé, France – €30-32.00

Miraval Côtes de Provence Rosé, France – €30-32.00

Stockists: Bubble Brothers, Whelehan’s Wines, Wineonline.ie, widely available

Miraval still has a Brad Pitt connection although Angelina sold her share (very much without his consent). Don’t let the celeb shtick put you off, this is a gorgeous rosé and the 2nd wine ‘Studio By Miraval’ (€22) is also recommended. Fragrant creamy red fruit with tropical notes, crisp, tangy and clean.

Absinthe makes the heart grow fonder, like

Rebel Distillery Absinthe, 52.6% ABV, 500ml - €50.00
Rebel Distillery Absinthe, 52.6% ABV, 500ml – €50.00

Rebel Distillery Absinthe, 52.6% ABV, 500ml – €50.00

Stockists: Bradleys; Molloys; Celtic Whiskey Shop: www.Rebelcitydistillery.com/Shop

Cork’s Rebel City Distillery should sound familiar as most of you have likely tasted their Maharani Gin. Rebel City Absinthe is their latest brilliant offering and was created from an 1871 French recipe using Grande Wormwood, Green Anise, and Florence Fennel – no, wormwood doesn’t make you go blind, that’s a myth spread by wine producers!

Tasted neat this hits the palate with a blast of fruity anise followed by pepper, spice and rounded liquorice flavours. Adding water (3:1) is best as it softens and broadens the flavours and releases hidden esters – you need this in your drinks cabinet.


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