Domaines Ott Château Romassan Bandol Rosé
August 14, 2018, Josh Raynolds
“Bright orange-pink. A complex bouquet displays ripe, mineral-accented red berries, citrus fruits, nectarine and pungent flowers, along with a subtle and exotic touch of honey. Offers palate-coating strawberry liqueur, blood orange and lavender flavors that unfold and deepen steadily on the back half. The pit fruit quality sneaks back in on and impressively long, penetrating finish that shows excellent clarity and powerful mineral thrust.”
Wine & Spirits
“This feels like fine Italian cashmere,” said tasting director Sarah Sutel Looper when she tasted this wine. A pale rosé based on mourvedre, with small amounts of grenache and cinsault, it’s reticent at first, needing time in the glass to fill in that luxurious texture with notes of herbs and tart berries. The pink-grapefruit acidity keeps it lifted and long, an elegant rosé for grilled fish or a Provence-inspired vegetable gratin.”
Domaines Ott was founded in 1912 by Alsatian engineer Marcel Ott. Today, the wineries are owned and managed by Champagne Louis Roederer, producing some of the world’s most prestigious wines. These wines are made at three distinctively different estates: Château Romassan (Bandol), Clos Mireille, and Château de Selle (both Côtes de Provence).
Château Romassan is located in the Bandol appellation and lies at the foot of the village of Le Castellet. The soil is poor, composed of limestone, sandstone, and marine upper cretaceous marls. The Bandol appellation is known for its terraced landscapes built from the hard stone with vines, which are planted into vast terraces with varying exposures. The sea air from the bay of Bandol compensates for the terroir's acidity and low rainfall. The winery is located on 148 acres, which are fully devoted to wine production. Cultivation methods are traditional and the soil is mechanically tilled and young shoots are trained with the greatest care to the plant.
The grapes are all hand picked and go through a stringent selective grape sorting, followed by an extremely delicate pressing process. Fermentation is done in thermo-regulated vats followed by aging in oak casks for six to eight months.
Pale pink hue with subtle golden tints. The fine, delicate nose is both fresh and vinous. It develops aromas of citrus fruit, vineyard peaches and white flowers. The palate is elegant, dense and silky. This wine exudes delicious aromas of grapefruit and red berries combined with excellent tension and refreshing notes of liquorice that linger on the finish.
Once again, this vintage suffered from very high temperatures and not enough rain. Flowering started in late May in perfect conditions as the emergence of the first bunches was to prove. But, the hot weather, not dissimilar to the heatwave of 2003, immediately set in. The condition of the grapes indicated that the harvest would be early, and it eventually started on August 14. The harvest volume was down by about 20%, but the grapes were very homogeneous and of impeccable quality. The first tastings indicated that the wines would be very well balanced. The heat persisted, but careful winemaking allowed the wines to preserve their freshness and fruit.
Varietals: 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Cinsault, 20% Grenache