The slow life of quarantine has its perks. I’m growing accustomed to two homemade meals a day, a luxury I haven’t enjoyed since living in France. One of the greatest pleasures of cooking at home, of course, is choosing a wine to drink. Dreaming of better days ahead and lazy Mediterranean summers, I’m reaching for wines from Provence. Here are a few of my favorites.
A bottling of pure Grenache as fresh and mineral as this is a rare treat. Organic grapes grown on the flanks of the craggy Cap Canaille stay cool thanks to the spritzy seaside winds. But it’s the texture of this homage to Marie Magdeleine that’s the real standout. Partially raised in sandstone amphora, this rosé is luxurious and unadulterated—from the Bouches-du-Rhône, straight to your bouche.
In 2017, a hailstorm destroyed all but a barrel’s worth of Roch Sassi’s red wine production. An association of reputable local vignerons called Rouge Provence came to his aid by donating fruit from appellations like Bandol, Les Baux, and Côtes de Provence. The resulting wine is more sudiste than alpiniste as compared to Roch’s signature, cooler-climate reds from Villars, but it’s nonetheless très provençal; ruddy and plump, it has loads of black fruit and garrigue-y rusticity.
Dominique Hauvette is a rare breed of vigneronne who has developed some of the most radical practices and convictions of any producer we import. Without pretension, she sees herself as a wine “medium” more than a wine “maker,” letting Mother Nature steer where she wants to go. Cuvée Cornaline is a plush blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon and makes an indisputable case for the raw, less conventional approach to natural winemaking.
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