Our Chateau Routas is a lovely pale pink salmon. It offers hints of freshly cut watermelon, ripe peach aromas and floral notes which lead to a palate alive with wild strawberries and subtle mineral notes. Crisp acidity and a refreshing finish. This rosé is versatile. It pairs well with appetizers, salads, chicken, fish, and desserts.
The grape varietals are harvested separately, destemmed, and then go directly into the press bladder. Maceration occurs for the next few hours. This time allows cold settling to be complete before inoculation of selected yeasts. The grape varietals are fermented separately in stainless steel tanks. After fermentation the blending of the rosé cuvée takes place followed by two or three racking’s to ensure the new wine is crystal clear. The wine is then bottled in January.
On the cool uplands of northern Provence, at 250 to 270m, a blend of Cinsault and Grenache with a touch of old vine fruit from Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown to make the rosé. The clay and limestone soils further emphasize the freshness and acidity and result in a long slow maturation season and harvest dates around a month later than those on the coast. A combination of southeast and southwest exposure gives full phenolic ripening. The majority of the blend comes from 10-year-old Cinsault vines, which are fermented at a cool 14oC in inox to preserve the fruit character.
A combination of yeasts were used: Lalvin Opale to emphasize the natural loral and lychee character of the Cinsault, and Lalvin K1 to maintain the fresh crispness. The second major variety is Grenache, a mix of old vine (50 years on the highest slopes) and young vines. Harvested in late September and fermented at a cool 14oC in inox to preserve the fruit character. The old vines are slower to ferment, with Lalvin K1 which preserves the freshness but also allows the natural fruit of the old vines to show their natural fruit intense character. The younger vines are fermented with Lalvin Opale which brings out the ripe peach and redcurrant fruit, the classic Peach Melba of cooler climate Grenache rosé. A touch of depth and structure is contributed by a small percentage of old vine Cabernet Sauvignon and mature Syrah. The Syrah in the 2020 vintage was picked slightly earlier than usual due to rain in mid-September, providing fresh acidity while the Cabernet in the third week of September. Both fermented at a cool 14oC in inox with Lalvin Okay which serves to emphasize the body and weight of the fruit, which, in the Cabernet gives a touch of red currant fruit and mineral structure to balance the fruity floral character of the Cinsault and Grenache.
The 290 hectare Estate of Chateau Routas is nestled between the old town elegance of Aix-en-Provence, and the white sand beaches that line the Gulf de Saint Tropez. An altitude of 350 meters provides cooler nights contributing to wines that combine both freshness and grape complexity.
The sustainable farmed estate abounds in the agricultural diversity that is key to vine health. The 290 hectares encompass wheat fields and olive trees, and black truffles stud the earth. Red poppies give way to brilliant yellow sunflowers, and in the fall, the surrounding forests yield abundant mushrooms-cepes (porcini), fragile girolles, and morels. Helpful insects play their part in keeping the vines disease-free.
The terrain is punctuated by a stunning geological anomaly, the 270 meter-deep Infernet Hole (Devil’s Hole), a canyon thought to have been created by a meteor collision. The hole is a favorite refuge of the local wild boars, which are unfortunately a little too fond of the Chateau Routas grapes!
As in all the best properties, the Chateau Routas soil varies dramatically, resulting in small vineyards that are often unusually shaped. Some plots are red as crushed brick, while others are of crumbly grey limestone mixed with bright red stones that bleach in the hot summer sun. The elevation is among Provence’s highest, providing cool nights that slow the ripening of the grapes, contributing complexity, and dictating harvests that are up to a month later than those nearer the coast.
Chateau Routas is situated within the “Coteaux Varois en Provence”, a key appellation of the Provence wine region in the far South East of France. It was introduced in March 1993 as a complement to the “Cotes de Provence” created 16 years earlier. The appellation is an enclave of the “Cote de Provence”.