Monday, May 29, 2023

Domaines Ott Château de Selle Côtes de Provence Mourvedre Blend Rose' 2020

 Domaines Ott Château de Selle Côtes de Provence Cru Classe' Mourvedre Blend Rose' 2020

We discovered and experienced this wine as part to the Premium Wine Pairing at Three Michelin Star Alinea restaurant earlier in the year. The entire dinner and wine flight are featured in this blogpost - Magnificent Dinner at Alinea Kitchen Table. From that experience, son Ryan acquired this and brought to our Memorial Day afternoon cook-out dinner on the deck for casual summer sipping. 

The Ott family own and manage three estates in two appellations in the wine growing region of Provence that sits along the Mediterranean coast of France, bordered by the Rhone River to the west and the Cote d’Azur on the east. The three estates combined produce a somewhat miniscule 800,000 bottles each year. 

The family business is managed by cousins Christian and Jean-François Ott. In 2004, Domaines Ott joined Louis Roederer and its extensive selection of wine craftsmen.  Jean-François Ott and his team continues "the unique savoir-faire of four generations of artisan-vignerons in the complete respect of nature. Inspired by an unchanged mission since the creation of the Domaines by Marcel Ott in 1896, they have constantly pursued their unique and free vision of the expression of the terroirs of Provence." 

Founder Marcel Ott, a graduate in agricultural engineering from Alsace, toured France’s vineyards in search of the perfect estate. At the time, phylloxera had destroyed much of the region’s vineyards and nearly crippled the wine industry. Hence, land was inexpensive since many of the vineyards would need replanting. Undeterred, Ott found a site, Chateau de Selle in 1912. After acquiring the estate and completely renovating it, he reconstructed and replanted the vineyards. His passion and determination led to the acquisition of two more estates and the beginning of the Domaines Ott legacy.

Family Ott acquired Château Romassan in 1956. They then spent the next thirty years re-developing the property, gaining experience with the old Château Romassan to produce great wines typical of the Bandol AOC appellation. They entirely replanted the estate with noble grape varieties in small plots that were reorganized and leveled to create terraced vineyards. The superb 18th-century building overlooking the vineyard was also completely renovated. 

Château Romassan sits at the foot of the hilltop village Le Castellet, a few miles north of the City of and Bay of Bandol in the south of France. This estate is located in the west of the Var department, in the heart of the celebrated Bandol winemaking region. The Mediterranean climate and the poor limestone and sandstone soils produce deep savory wines.  

 We drove through the region and the area vineyards during our Rhone Wine Experience in 2019.

Mourvèdre is the region's and estate’s primary grape variety. Indigenous to the area, it is particularly suited to the arid climate and austere soil. Its calm temperament is revealed in the strength of its harmonies, its robust structure and its staying power both on the palate and in the cellar. Producer Otts rely on mourvèdre for the bulk of their rosé (this one includes 30 percent cinsault and 15 percent grenache). 

Domaines Ott Château de Selle Côtes de Provence Cru Classe Mourvedre Blend Rose' 2020

The 2020 Bandol Rose Château de Selle is mainly Mourvèdre (60%) with smaller proportions of Cinsault (20%), and Grenache (20%). Many vintages also contain small amounts of Syrah. The vines have an average age of 25 years across the 180 acres of the estate. The vines draw their personality from the vineyard’s unique and distinguished soil. Chalk, sandstone and marl underlain with gravel, this singular land with its sun-drenched and particularly dry micro-climate produces sophisticated and very powerful wines.

This is blended and bottled in the new Château de Selle cellar, where part of the winery is exclusively devoted to its production. The entire process is controlled from blending to through storage ensuring the highest achievable quality expected of these wines.

Winemaker Notes - "Its pale, ethereal pink color tinted with gold or orange, releases a bouquet of citrus fruits and white orchard flowers. On the palate, the immediate effect is lively and bright, revealing notes of pink grapefruit, fleshy fruit and, once the wine has had a chance to breathe, hints of fruit tart. The finish is complex and lasting.'

"This 2020 reveals a brilliant light peach hue and a lovely aromatic intensity. The nose is fresh and fruity with hints of peach and grapefruit. After aeration, aromas of white flesh fruits start to emerge and are set off by some fine spicy notes. The palate is complex and luscious, buoyed by flavours of citrus and wild peaches. A touch of acidity on the finish gives this big and refined wine a pleasant persistence."

The 2021 was awarded 96 points by Wine & Spirits. This 2020 was awarded 93 points by Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, Vinous and Wine Enthusiast.

Opaque pink and light copper colored, medium bodied, firm and structured, complex, bright crisp core of peach, mineral and citrus flavors with a backbone of notes of wet stone and smokey roasted nuts, turning to what Josh Reynolds of Vinous refers to as "a repeating mineral note and a late hint of tarragon", and what Robert Parker describes as "zesty-briny and stony on the finish" in their reviews of the '21. 

RM 92 points.