We seem to be getting through gallons of rosé thanks to la canicule here in the UK, and with no sign of a let-up in this prolonged hot spell, I was starting to fret about where further stocks of new and good-quality provençal pinks might be found out here in the sticks. So I was relieved to read in the August issue of Decanter Magazine that a Tasting Panel had been set up to do some of this some of this terribly difficult research for me. Their subject: Côtes de Provence rosés in the 2013 vintage. Two of the top three wines tasted are from merchants I sometimes visit and as I happened to be passing the doors of Majestic Wine in Yeovil that very day, I dropped in to pick up some of tonight’s wine, the Famille Abeille 2013 from Château Riotor. Located in the small commune of Cannet des Maures, 40-odd kilometres north-west of Saint-Tropez, the Château is a family-owned estate making predominantly rosé wines.
The rosé in question is one of those beautifully pale pink wines (although colour is not always a guarantee of elegance the Decanter article warns us), and beautifully refreshing with soft summer’s day fruit flavours. First off think picnics and crab sandwiches, but we proved it had sufficient body and crispness to handle something a little heavier with our alfresco supper of ratatouille-style stuffed aubergines topped with black olives. Heavenly. And then I sneakily enjoyed the last slosh from the bottle the following day with an aubergine and cherry tomato salad for lunch – recipe to follow in the next few days.
Château Riotor, Famille Abeille rosé 2013
We bought ours at Majestic Wine – £9.99