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Thursday, October 22, 2015


PROVENCE, a leading wine making region in the south of France.
As you no doubt know Pillar to Post correspondents span the globe.  Today we hear good news from Alain Baccino in the south of France, who happens to be president of the Provence Wine Council.

Harvest is over in Provence having begun in the final days of August, coming much earlier this year than in 2014, as well as earlier than the average annual harvest timeline. “All of the critical elements have aligned to make 2015 out to be what is estimated to be a beautiful vintage,” said Alain.

He points out the quality of the grapes collected in the year’s first recorded harvests is wonderfully balanced, creating an exceptional product from the first extracted juice. “It is extremely promising for the vinification in the three colors, with an unusually interesting potential for the reds,” Alain said.

“The health of the vineyards is perfect,” he added, “thanks to a dry season, to the warmth and to the Mistral.” The warmth helped to promote ripening without risk to the vines due to the water reserves that accumulated in the soil from a rainy winter.

Experts are calling 2015 a vintage that is balanced in both quality and quantity. “We won’t reach the volume harvested in 2014, a particularly generous year,” said Baccino, “but it is quantitatively a great year, on average.”

More than 26,000 hectares of vines classified at high levels of quality will were harvested over a period of about a week, from which more than 160 million bottles of Provence 2015 vintage will be produced which will be predominantly rosé.

Many vintners from Provence did very well at the most recent Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), which is considered by many as the world’s largest and most influential wine competition. Judged by the world’s wine experts, the results provide a good list of wine recommendations.

The highest accolade a wine can achieve at the DWWA is an international trophy. Decanter awarded 35 international trophies from a total 15,929 wines, including eight for France, and one specifically for a Provence rosé. Wines must have already been awarded a gold medal for their region to qualify. Other top prizes are medals awarded in order of Gold, Silver and Bronze as well as a notable Commended honor.

--Chateau la Tour de L’Eveque, “Petale de Rose,” 2014, rose

Sacha Lichine, a wine maker near Gorges de Pennafort in the Provence area of France, recently won a Gold Medal for his Caves Esclans Domaines Sacha Lichine, “Whispering Angel,” a 2014 rose at the prestigious Decanter World Wine Awards.
--Caves Esclans, Sacha Lichine “Whispering Angel,” 2014, rose.
--Clos Gautier, “Dare,” 2014, rose
--Leoube Chateau, Rouge Leoube Les Forts, 2011, red
--Chateau des Demoiselles, 2014, rose
--Castle Esclans, “Clans,” 2014, rose
--Chateau Henri Bonnaud, 2011, red
--Chateau La Jeannette, “Baguier,” 2013, red
--Castle Cushion, “Caesar Sumeire,” 2014, rose
--“Castle Barbeiranne, “Cuvee Vallat-Sablou, white

More on wines from Provence:

Many wines of Provence are available at Bristol Farms markets or at various wine merchants mainly in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The web page for Provence Wine USA posted above has a broader list of wine merchants in California.  None from San Diego are listed.

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