AOC Côtes de Provence
The beautiful bottles of the AOC Côtes de Provence
Côtes de Provence is the name given to the wines produced in the vineyards of Provence-Corsica , which is located in the south-east of France. These wines have the French AOC label and the European AOP label.
The AOC Côtes de Provence appellation brings together 84 municipalities in the Var department, the Bouches-du-Rhône department and a parcel in the Alpes Maritimes department. The whole is about 20,000 hectares.
Any winegrower who affixes this appellation to his production must follow a few conditions provided for in the specifications . The bottles bearing this designation represent three-quarters of the production of Provence, i.e. approximately 130 million bottles per year.
Even if at first glance, the wines of the AOC Côtes de Provence have points of similarity, they come in a multitude of varieties, each with their own characteristics.
The secrets of the AOC Cotes de Provence grape varieties
The Côtes de Provence vineyard particularly benefits from exceptional sunshine and warm summers that can reach 35°C accompanied by the mistral. The grapes are not all planted on the same soil, because in part of the terroir in the northwest, the soil is made up of limestone and in the southwest, there is more of a crystalline massif of the Moors and Esterel.
This difference in soil explains the diversity of AOC Côtes de Provence classified growths, which are characterized by their tastes, colors and aromas.
Red, rosé and white wines are made from Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Clairette and Sémillon. These wines are easily recognized by their freshness and their aging trait.
Côtes de Provence rosés
These wines of this AOC Côtes de Provence collection are very well known and we sometimes find red and rosé wines which display on their denomination the appellation Côtes de Provence with another designation Sainte Victoire, La Londe or Fréjus.
It is the rosés that stand out the most from the whole panoply of Côtes de Provence. They represent approximately 80% of all production.
The intensity of the color of their dress varies according to the stay and the fermentation in tanks of the grape . The color of her dress can range from rose petal to deep salmon. Tasting these rosés reveals notes of red, white and yellow fruits.
We can also have on the palate a slight flavor of vanilla, brioche, hazelnut when the wines are aged on the lees. These flavors can also be accompanied by spicy aromas with thyme, bay leaf and garrigue.
On the palate, these Côtes de Provence rosés offer a very fine structure and a very nice balance. In this AOC Côtes de Provence collection, there are also well-structured crus with generous reds and white wines with golden reflections.
The red Côtes de Provence
The red wines Côtes de Provence give red wines with a deep garnet color with mauve reflections .
This coloration can intensify or diminish depending on its origin. To the smell, they are very complex because you will leave on notes of red fruits , in particular redcurrant, strawberry, raspberry, notes of black fruit. In the mouth, you will feel a power or a lightness with a full body and robust tannins.
The white Côtes de Provence
Côtes de Provence white wines are characterized by their subtlety and finesse . Their dress has a limpid and brilliant tint, often in pale yellow with greenish reflections.
On the nose, you will be transported directly to the Provençal region with the freshness and intensity. You will smell primary notes of citrus fruits and notes of Provence which are represented by the emanations of pine bark and thyme accompanied by spicy touches.
On the palate, you will feel a more supple attack and subsequently a generous and well-structured substance. The balance between alcohol, acidity and aroma is just perfect.
Some geographical names of the Côtes de Provence
From this collection of Côtes de Provence wines, there are four terroir denominations including Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire, Côtes de Provence-Fréjus, Côtes de Provence La Londe and Côtes de Provence-Pierrefeu .
The vineyards bearing the Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire appellation include the productions located to the east of the city of Aix-en-Provence, in particular at the foot of the Sainte-Victoire mountain.
There are nine municipalities for this delimitation and the vineyards cover approximately 203 ha for a production of one million bottles.
The sector of Fréjus extends from east to west on the hills along the coastal river Argens. It covers nearly 17 ha and there are 8 communes in the Var department for the production of wines, vines of Côtes de Provence-Frégus.
The Côtes de Provence La Londe vineyards are located at the end of the coast, to the south-west of the Massif des Maures. 4 municipalities are known to ensure this production: Bormes-les-Mimosas, Crau, Hyères and La Londe-les-Maures.
The vineyards of this denomination represent approximately 54 ha. Pierrefeu is the last geographical denomination that constitutes the Côtes de Provence. It only concerns red wines and rosé wines. The Côtes de Provence Pierrefeu vines cover 12 communes.