2015 Les Bastides Rosé de Saignée
Region: Côteaux-d’Aix-en-Provence < France
Grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvedre
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming (since 1967), calcareous clay soils; made in saignée method; <800 cases
Winemaker: Carole Salen
Carole Salen is a one-woman show, running the winery and vineyards first planted by her late father Jean, who bought the domaine in 1967 and began working the vines organically from the start (which NOBODY was doing back then). His daughter Carole, after earning degrees in viticulture and enology from universities in Bordeaux and Beaune, returned home in 1987 to help her father. Since then she has re-planted and expanded several vineyards, invested in equipment, and purchased new foudres for ageing her wine, while also raising a family – and raising the quality of the wines. Her domaine is most definitely a working farm, all business, with zero bling or flash. The winemaking is simple and straightforward, and she relies on old-fashioned, enameled, carbon steel fermenters, which Carole insists exert an influence upon the wine that is superior to that of stainless steel. This is satisfying winter rosé de saignée, the style that made Provence famous, but these days has mostly been abandoned for more modern direct-press rosé production styles. It’s textural and structured, more fruit vs. mineral-driven, with cranberry, raspberry and Campari notes. Don’t save this one for Spring, drink now with burgers or tacos or salmon or a quinoa veggie bowl. It’s extremely versatile food wine that works with just about everything.