Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence Wine
With over 4000 hectares under vine, Coteaux d'Aix' is a powerhouse of southern French wine-making producing the equivalent of 28 million bottles of wine each year. The vast majority (82.5%) of this is rosé aimed squarely at holiday-makers who invade the region's bars and beaches each summer. Indeed, many visitors to the area are unaware that red and white are also produced. Although both are relatively rare - accounting for 12% and 5.5% of production respectively - they can be worth seeking out as qualitative improvements have been significant in the 21st century and there are some excellent examples to be found.
A case in point are the wines of Domaine des Oullières just outside the village of Lambesc below the Chaine des Côtes. The Ambrosio-Collomb family have been tending vines here for seven generations and currently have 70 hectares under vine on well-elevated, free-draining clay and limestone soils. Their excellent Coteaux d'Aix' blanc is made from a blend of Vermentino and Grenache Blanc and has wild herb and fennel scents and a supple stone fruit palate with a fresh, dry finish. A coral pink rosé, which dominates production, is blended from Grenache Noir, Syrah and Cinsault and has a bouquet of cranberries and redcurrants and a crisp palate of crushed summer berries. Completing the range is a toothsome red made from Syrah, Grenache Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon that are vinified in vat and barrel for 8 months prior to blending and bottling. With ripe cherry and plum aromas and flavours and supple tannins, it would make a perfect accompaniment to an olive-rich daube de Provence.