Passport to Provence

Wines, tapenade, pistou & olive oil from the French Riviera.

Passport to Provence Mixed Case Offer

"Provence is a country to which I am always returning, next week, next year, any day now, as soon as I can get on a train."
Elizabeth David, French Provincial Cooking (1960)

If, like me, you have settled for glamping in North Devon this year, rather than a TGV to Marseille and beyond, all is not lost. This terrific case provides some succour as it includes wines sourced from the very best vineyards that the playground of France has to offer, backed up by some excellent local condiments.

Provence is home to some of France's oldest vineyards (dating back to Roman times) as its 3,000 hours of sunlight annually provide ideal growing conditions for a wide variety of grapes to flourish – 25 in the appellation of Palette alone. Alongside vibrant whites (from Vermentino, Clairette, Marsanne & Roussanne), you find robust spicy reds (Mourvèdre, Syrah, Folle Noir) and, of course rosé – accounting for nearly 90% of the region's output.

The case features aristocratic Château Simone from the outskirts of Aix, Bellet - the only urban AOC in France nestled in the hills above Nice, Cassis - the sole French appellation situated entirely within a National Park (des Calanques), and organic pioneers at Château la Canorgue in the Montagne du Luberon, among others. The wines work particularly well with the dishes for which the region is famous - Bouillabaisse, Grillade au Fenouil, Salade Niçoise, Aïoli, Pissaladière, Ratatouille, stuffed courgette flowers, olives, Banon and Picadon cheeses.

We have enhanced the case with tapenade, pistou and (AOC) olives from the traditional traiteur of Nicolas Alziari (based in Nice's Vieux Port since 1868), plus Domaine Bunan's wonderful cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. A left-field addition (not to be over-looked) is the artisanal Pastis from the Manguin distillery located among pear orchards on the country's largest river island - the 700 hectare Ile de Barthelasse just outside Avignon. Naturally, you can serve this as five parts chilled water to one part Pastis (pour the water first!), but it provides the base for numerous excellent cocktails - 'Rourou' (with strawberry), 'Perroquet' (with mint), 'Sazerac' (with Brandy) and my personal favourite the 'Obituary'- a twist on the Martini.

So you can transport yourself to the Côte d'Azur this August, reassured by the knowledge that the most expensive bottle in this case is the same price as a club sandwich at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc!

This mixed case contains one bottle each of:

Château Simone Blanc 2017
Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Blanc 2019
Bellet: Domaine de la Source Blanc 2018

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence: Domaine des Oullières Rosé 2019
Côtes de Provence: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Rosé 2019
Côtes du Luberon: Château La Canorgue Rosé 2019

Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Rouge 2016
Château Simone Rouge 2015
IGP Méditerranée: Domaine Richeaume 'Cuvée Tradition' 2017

Pastis: Distillerie Manguin

Condiments & Olive Oil:
Nicolas Alziari - Tapenade (180g)
Nicolas Alziari - Pistou (80g)
Nicolas Alziari - Olives Cailletier (220g)
Domaines Bunan - Huile d'Olive Vierge Extra (75cl bottle)

This mixed case includes

1 x Château Simone Blanc 2017£0.00

A framed menu on the walls at the Château notes that, when the well-to-do people of Aix hosted a lunch for Presidents Mitterand and Berlusconi, white Simone was served with the starter. Whether this is a good or bad advert for the wine is open to interpretation, but it demonstrates that it's held in high regard. The Château Simone Blanc is complex, attractive and very well structured.

1 x Cassis: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Blanc 2019£0.00

This Cassis Blanc is the ultimate seafood partner, produced from grapes grown on the slopes of France's highest sea cliff, the Cap Canaille. Sublime scenery and wondrous wine.

1 x Bellet: Domaine de la Source Blanc 2018£0.00

Eric and Carine Dalmasso's Bellet Blanc is made from pure Rolle (aka Vermentino) and makes a wonderful aperitif or partner to seafood. Most of Bellet's production adorns the wine lists of Nice's more knowledgeable eating establishments, so at Yapp Brothers, we consider ourselves very fortunate to have these wines on our list. Certified organic.

1 x Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence: Domaine des Oullières Rosé 2019£0.00

This youthful, organic rosé wine from the Coteaux d'Aix, just north of Aix-en-Provence, is a blend of Cinsault, Grenache & Syrah. Crisp, refreshing and savoury, it's ideal when sipped al fresco with or without some freshly-landed langoustines.

1 x Côtes de Provence: Clos Sainte Magdeleine Rosé 2019£0.00

Bright salmon-pink with characteristic aromas of red berry fruit underscored by saline minerality, a touch of stone fruit, good acidity and a smooth finish.

A touch of tannin balances the acidity making it a perfect match for Provençale dishes like pissaladière or pistou. It also complements fish or artichoke dishes very well.

1 x Côtes du Luberon: Château La Canorgue Rosé 2019£0.00

Provence is renowned for it's rosé wines, and Château la Canorgue's is a superlative example. Made from organically grown Provençal staples Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, it is a wine light enough to be drunk alone, but would happily stand up to bouillabaisse or a Provençal goat's cheese.

1 x Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Rouge 2016£0.00

A full-bodied Bandol red wine from the Côte d'Azur, with a beguiling, deep purple robe, dark, hedgerow berry scents and a palate of black fruit, spices, dried ceps and game.

1 x IGP Méditerranée: Domaine Richeaume 'Cuvée Tradition' 2017£0.00

The rich, red 'Cuvée Tradition' from Domaine Richeaume is a long-standing Yapp favourite, blended from 18% Cabernet Sauvignon, 42% Syrah, 12% Merlot, 15% Grenache and 13% Tempranillo. This organic IGP Méditerranée would be the perfect provençal pairing with roast leg of lamb studded with garlic and anchovies.

1 x Château Simone Rouge 2015£0.00

Château Simone Rouge - a rare unreconstructed historical gem of a wine. Complex 'cigar box', sandalwood and sous bois aromas precede a rich, evolved palate with some mushroom and resinous notes - it is often mistaken for top-quality Bordeaux. It merits decanting, readily supports a decade's bottle-age, and will make a perfect foil to a garlic-studded gigot d'agneau or grilled rib of beef.

1 x Pastis: Distillerie Manguin£0.00

Our roving young Frenchman, Alexandre, discovered this unique pastis on a sojourn to France's largest river island, the (700 hectare) Ile de Barthelasse just outside Avignon. That's how he rolls.

This independent pastis is enlivened with a dash of pear brandy and presented in a distinctive, debonair black bottle. Unconventionally, the producers recommend pouring a glass of fresh water before adding the spirit, which creates more aroma diffusion.

1 x Huile d'Olive Vierge Extra - Domaines Bunan £0.00

A versatile, fruity, organic, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, ideal for use in dressings and marinades. It has engendered a hugely loyal following over the past 30 years.

(75cl. bottle).