Posted on 23.07.21 Wine of the Week

Mirabeau La Réserve Cotes de Provence rosé: reviewed

It’s little more than a decade since Stephen and Jeany Cronk chucked in their London lives, selling their home to set up a winery in the South of France.

As they told me on my podcast, the Drinking Hour with David Kermode (listen to the episode here) the original plan was to buy a vineyard, but the cost was too high, so they set about making wines with purchased grapes instead. Their brand, Mirabeau, has been a roaring success, spawning a family of well made rosé wines (check out my latest column for Club Oenologique here), just as the wines of Provence have been transformed in terms of quality.

Now, at last, comes the ‘estate wine’ of their dreams, produced with their own grapes, from a 20 hectare estate in the Plains des Maures Nature Reserve near St Tropez. La Réserve is made from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Rolle (a white grape, also known as Vermentino) and it is partially matured in lightly toasted 400 litre French oak barrels, giving it added complexity, texture and a lovely golden, onion skin hue.

So how does it taste? The short answer is sensational.

This is no swimming pool rosé for poseurs, it’s an elegant, subtle wine with nuances of peach, honeysuckle, apricot skin, orange zest and citrus brioche, all supported by a gentle, fresh grapefruit acidity and a lovely wet-pebble-in-a-stream mineral lick. It’s a fabulous food wine, which needs at least ten minutes out of the fridge before you drink it, to let the delicate elements shine.

Domaine Mirabeau La Réserve 1er année (2020) is a premium wine without the pricetag to match: £25.99 at Domaine Mirabeau. It’s worth more, but I think they want to keep it true to the brand, which is about accessibility. There were only around 3,000 bottles produced, so do try to get your hands on one. You won’t be disappointed.

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