Summer is almost upon us; the perennially blisteringly warm and long British summer is near. As such we have selected to offer what we believe is the most exciting new provincial rosé on the market made by Bernard Magrez who needs little introduction. As the owner of no fewer than four Grand Cru Classé Chateaux in Bordeaux, including Pape Clement and a host of other estates throughout France, Spain, Argentina and California to name a few, he is one of the foremost names in the world of wine. His signature is synonymous with excellence and having tasted his fantastic terroir-driven rosé, L’Excellence du Chateau des Muraires is just that – excellent.
This is fast becoming one of the best rosés in the world. The award winning 2015 vintage was given 91 points by Decanter, one of the highest scores of the year for a rosé and the 2016 is set to surpass the previous vintage. Magrez is investing heavily in Chateau de Muraires which boasts leading terroir from the region. The cuvee Excellence du Chateau des Muraires represents the best grapes and treatment from the Chateau, with exhaustive selection which results in less than 600 cases for the globe. Its rarity matches its excellence. However, at just £140 in bond for a full case, the price is exceptional! This equates to less than £17 a bottle including all duty and VAT, offering excellent value. Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate agrees with the superb quality ‘lots of salty minerality as well as notes of orange blossom, medium-bodied richness, moderate acidity and a clean, dry finish. It’s a solid Rosé to enjoy on a hot summer day.’
Provence is known throughout the world for producing the very finest examples of rosé. Pale and delicate, they are the picture of finesse. More recently, the top producers have sought to distinguish themselves by working closely with the varied sites available in the south of France. Magrez here chose a small 1.3 hectare plot in the Luc dans le Var district between Nice and Aix-en-Provence. Nestled in the foothills of the Massif des Maures – known locally as ‘the black mountain’ – the region is famous for its dark, rock-heavy soils which impart a wonderful minerality and freshness.
The vines – a traditional mixture of Rolle, Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah – are an average of 41 years old. This gives an unusual intensity of flavour to the grapes, which are handled with the utmost care. Pneumatically pressed and fermented at a low temperature, the vinification is designed to withdraw only a little colour from the skins of the grapes while sculpting their fresh fruit flavours. It is then aged on the lees, adding a layer of richness. The tasting note for the 2015 provides a tantalising glimpse of the wine, describing it as “succulent” with a “silky palate”; “long and fine-boned, this has delightful charm.”
With such a laudable pedigree and such a low price, this is not a wine to miss and is a perfect high quality rosé for the summer. We can also offer it in cases of magnums and single double magnums.
Bernard Magrez L’Excellence des Muraires 2016, 12×75 – £140 IB
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