Summer’s Last Rosés: Château Sainte Roseline

As we departed for our last summer beach weekend Saturday, I grabbed a few rosés from the wine rack to enjoy on the trip. Sunday night we opened a bottle I’d been saving from a great vineyard we visited in Provence during our September 2009 trip, Château Sainte Roseline.

Château Sainte Roseline is just outside Les-Arc in the Var region (we passed through on our way from the Vaucluse to St-Tropez). Known for its famous summer sipping rosé wines, I brought home a bottle of their 2008 Lampe de Méduse Sainte-Roseline Cru Classé. This great example of a Côtes de Provence rosé comes in a gorgeous signature bottle. It’s made from five grape varieties, Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren, Mourvèdre, Syrah. A gorgeous pink salmon color, the wine’s aroma and taste are citrus and strawberries. As we drank the bottle (and the temperature went down a bit it), it got even more strawberry jammy. It paired perfectly with my grilled lobster!

The grapes for this wine are harvested and sorted manually. Temperatures are maintained at 18°C throughout fermentation for 10-14 days. Then wine is then refrigerated to stop malo-lactic fermentation and obtain a clear, clean wine.

In the vine cultivation business for seven centuries, Château Sainte Roseline is one of Provence’s exceptional wineries. In 1955, it was awarded the “Cru Classe.” With 108 hectares of land made up of clay-limestone soils and an underground spring, they make great whites and reds from the 11 grape varieties grown.

It was my favorite vineyard of that September trip. The property is gorgeous dating back to the tenth century. Named after the Mother Superior of the 10th century abbey located here which is a must visit. A Chagall mosaic Le Rapa Anges (The Angel’s Meal) depicts 14th century Sainte Roseline’s miracle… so entranced in prayer she forgot to make the large meal she was supposed to do so called on the angels who came down and produced an extravagant feast. Definitely worth a visit for its lovely tasting room with knowledgable staff and great wine tastings.

More to come this week on our trip (to Stone Harbor and Avalon, New Jersey beaches) and the wines.