When you gaze upon a bottle of rosé wine labeled Forever Young or Rumor, hailing from the Côtes du Provence region in France, you’ll immediately be captivated by its alluring light pink hue, reminiscent of delicate rose blossoms like the Pink Mondial and Majolica roses. These rosé wines are distinct due to their lower alcohol content compared to other regional wines, making them a favored choice, especially during the summer months. Savoring these wines evokes their rich history and the unique terroir of the region.
Recently exploring Provence, we immersed ourselves in the distinctive climatic conditions marked by gentle sunshine, periodic rainfall, and refreshing sea breezes, including the renowned Mistral, a vigorous and chilly wind celebrated in French poetry and literature.
The history of Provence runs deep, much like its storied winds. In the 6th century BC, the Phoenicians introduced grapevines from Greece to Massalia, which is modern-day Marseille in southern France. The wines produced from these vines were field blends of white and red grapes. These delightful pale pink wines, naturally light in color, rapidly gained popularity across the Mediterranean. Today, Provence dedicates 91% of its vineyards to crafting this wine, as it thrives in the region’s climate. In fact, Provence contributes to over 80% of the total rosé wine production.
Provençal rosé has enjoyed popularity in the United States for years, and wines like Forever Young and Rumor have revitalized this trend, harmoniously combining the flavors of freshness and fruitiness with a crisp, dry finish. These pale pink wines are skillfully crafted from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and occasionally Mourvèdre grapes. The finish often reveals notes of red and white currant, Satsuma plum, and a subtle hint of pepper. These wines encapsulate the vibrant warmth of the summer season, regardless of the time of year. Yet, each rosé possesses its own unique history that sets it apart.
Forever Young originates from the Chateau Roubine vineyard, a place steeped in a long and illustrious history. Established in 1307, it stands as one of only 18 Cru Classé estates in Provence. The vineyard’s east-west orientation, clay-limestone soil, and natural drainage offer the perfect conditions for cultivating more than 13 grape varieties, including the rare Tibouren variety, which accounts for a mere 2% of wine production in Provence. Throughout its storied past, Château Roubine has passed through the hands of various well-known Provençal families and has earned the esteemed title of “Cru Classé” in the Côtes de Provence. The current owner, Valérie Rousselle, has injected youthful energy into the estate, transitioning it to biodynamic viticulture and producing award-winning rosé.
Rumor Rosé is another remarkable wine, blending 60% Grenache, 35% Cinsault, 3% Syrah, 1% Mourvèdre, and 1% Tibouren. All the grapes used are 100% organic, resulting in a dry flavor profile devoid of any bitterness. This light and flavorful rosé boasts the classic pale pink hue with delicate citrus and fruit aromas. With an alcohol content of 13%, it offers a clean and crisp mouthfeel from the first sip to the finish. It pairs wonderfully with a range of Provençal dishes, tapas, vegetables, and grilled seafood.
Rumor is crafted in Flassans-sur-Issole, a village nestled in the Var hills of southern France. The grapes grown here exhibit the ideal acidity ratio for the palate, and Rumor’s winemakers meticulously select and blend the Provençal varietals, including Grenache, Vermentino, Cinsault, Shiraz, and Tibourin. The grapes are harvested at the perfect temperature, and fermentation occurs with minimal human intervention. The entire production process adheres to sustainable and organic practices, eschewing the use of fertilizers, pesticides, or insecticides, ensuring a well-balanced and delectable rosé.
Both Forever Young and Rumor rosés epitomize the essence of their terroirs and histories through their captivating colors, flavors, and fragrances. They provide memorable sensory journeys that authentically represent the flavor profile of Côtes du Provence.