Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence Wine
The cultured and historic university town of Aix-en-Provence lends its name to a vast tract of surrounding vineyard totalling over 20,000 hectares that produces more than 200,000 hectolitres of wine per annum. Catering to a largely not-too-discerning tourist (and student) clientele, rosé accounts for more than 80% of the vinous output. Much of the wine made is pretty unremarkable but the base quality has improved dramatically in the 21st Century with significant investment in modern cooling equipment. There are, however, a few pockets of excellence where notably superior wine is made. One such is the Ambrosio-Collomb family's Domaine des Oullières outside the village of Lambesc on the Chaine des Côtes escarpment. They have been cultivating grapes here for seven generations and currently tend over 40 hectares of vines – all certified as organic.
Their Coteaux d'Aix blanc is a blend of Rolle, Ugni Blanc and Grenache Blanc and has attractive wild flower and herb scents and a bright stone fruit palate with a fresh, dry finish. A fine coral-pink rosé accounts for 72% of the estate's production and is made from Grenache Noir and Cinsault. It has a redcurrant and rosehip bouquet and zesty summer-berry palate making for quintessential al fresco imbibing. Completing the range is a versatile, mid-weight red blended from Grenache Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. With bright berry and cherry scents and flavours, peppery undertones and fine tannins it would make a terrific partner to a herb-encrusted leg of lamb with ratatouille.