The Jewel of The Provence
Mediterranean France needs no introduction to most holidaymakers, and indeed the area around St Tropez has been a destination for the rich and famous seemingly forever!
The beaches in the area carry exotic names like Bora Bora, Tahiti and even, bizarrely, Plage de la Bouillabaisse!
But how many holidaymakers head away from the beaches into the Var region, and specifically, the relatively new AOC of Coteaux Varois de Provence, which sits under the protection of the Sainte-Baume mountains ?
Château Routas sits off the Route de Barjols, a little way from Châteauvert, nestled amongst the wooded hills, in around 290 hectares of what might be called mixed arable land, Provencal style, with wheat fields, olive trees, forest, rocky areas and a collection of oddly shaped strips of vines, planted to run the contour of the earth, itself a mix of red earth and grey limestone, the grape variety planted in order to maximise fertility.
Not here are the beautifully organised open fields of vines characterising Bordeaux, or the Clos of Burgundy, often enclosed by walls, of a few hectares of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – the only grapes planted under the strict rules of Burgundy. The art of the Burgundian winemaker is to produce the best expression of his or her crop, each season, regardless of rain, frost, burning sun or low yields. They cannot nip across the road to Madame Miggins, and borrow some grapes to bolster their crop. What is produced is what they make and their skill is the ability to produce often exceptional wine in exceptionally difficult circumstances.
Château Routas is a higglety pigglety patchwork, planted with Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier and Chardonnay. Their skills lie in the blending their grapes, in the case of their Rosé; Cinsault, Grenache, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, with the Red; Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon and finally the White; Viognier and Chardonnay.
Here the wine maker has committed to the quality and style of previous blendings, and therefore must continue to reach or surpass the previous season’s benchmark, so the art lies in the blend, the proportion of grape varieties may change per season, but the result has to be clearly identifiable as Château Routas.
And they are good at it, VERY good at it, their Routas Rosé has been recognised on the World stage, and their 2018 Rosé was given 93/100 by James Suckling
93 James Suckling – Jamessuckling.com “The nose here is immediately captivating with its freshness, focus and interest. It suggests sea salt, thyme, freshly squeezed nectarines and a touch of well-executed, lifted citrus. The palate shows some good density and the fruit/acid balance is played out nicely. Medium-bodied and sleek and refreshing. Makes you come back for more. Routas on the money as always. Drink now.”
The wines of Chateau Routas are definitely within the rules of ‘Artisan’, exceptional quality, exceptionally crafted, and exceptionally refined.
There is a skill and determination from both the winemaker and the owners, to focus on producing their expression of their vineyard and the results are, quite frankly, Exceptional!!
For more information on Chateau Routas check out their website Chateau Routas