La Londe Wine Festival: A Taste of Provence
What better way to spend Easter morning than at a wine tasting festival in the middle of a busy fruit and flower market! We couldn't think of a more fantastic day, and were beyond excited when our hosts asked us to join them at the annual La Londe Wine festival called 'Fête des Vins de La Londe.'
There were about 15 local wineries pouring at the Fête, and for just 3 Euro each we got a glass and free rein to taste for the entire morning. For us, this was the perfect way to preview many of the local wineries in one place, and then decide which of those we actually wanted to visit again in person.
Nearly every Chateau was offering a white, rose and rouge (red), so, knowing we had to try as many as possible, we bought a baguette and started sharing tastes! Here's the lowdown on our favorite wines and the places we plan to check out again during our Provence 'Vinocation' this month:
Wow. Wow. And wow again! This was our favorite Chateau at the festival for the simple fact that we loved all three of their wines. Each was well-made, delicious and remarkably priced. We ended up buying the white since it was one of the most interesting wines we'd tried in a while and a varietal we were both unfamiliar with.
The 2009 Chateau Maravenne Côtes de Provence Blanc is 100% Rolle...yeah, we hadn't heard of it either, but it is delicious and what many of the whites we tasted were made from. Click here for more details and our tasting notes!
Aside from their white, the rouge and rose were both very tasty as well. The Rouge was a meaty red which was a well-integrated blend of Syrah (60%), Grenache (20%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (%20) and was one of the few reds that didn't vanish from memory after the first sip. The fruit was reminiscent of dark currants and the tannins were mildly chewy to give it a more substantial backbone. The rose was neither too sweet nor too dry and burst with fresh-cut strawberries.
Another favorite of ours in more than one category. Their 2009 Cuvee 'Pierre' Viognier and 2006 Cuvee 'Chloe' Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Grenache blend were an absolute delight! The 'Pierre' Viognier was not heavy on the palate and didn't have the same minerality that some styles possess. This one was refreshing with aromas of banana Laffy Taffy and lemon curd. The 'Chloe' had a deep purple color with just enough tannin presence to give it some oomph. The blend gave off lavender and violet aromas and the flavors were of fresh boysenberry wrapped in warm brown sugar and spice which lingered on the palate.
We both thought it was worth mentioning the Chateau Saint Andre de Figuiere and Chateau de Jasson roses for their pure elegance and complexity. Both used Cinsault and Grenache as a base, and were coral-fushia in color. In the Jasson rose, there was a great balance of fruit, acid and depth that would be perfect with a charcuterie and cheese plate.