France: Provence

Aix en Provence and Les Baux

Wines from Aix en Provence and Les Baux de Provence
By Liz Berry MW

This Guide was last updated on 16 February 2010
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Main wine styles

Reds

There are a host of blended wines which when young are supple and fruity; most are best drunk within three years. However, more interesting robust and structured reds are worth seeking out and are mostly oak aged. The best can last well for ten years and more. In the Coteaux d’Aix en Provence appellation, with a large diversity of climates, wines vary from hot, spicy rich southern French reds to lighter styles.

Whites

White wine production is limited. Usually dry from a blend of grapes, the best are found where the climate is slightly cooler in the higher altitude zones. Some Coteaux d’Aix en Provence whites can be quite delicate, aromatic and elegant.

Rosés

Rosé wine is the ambassador of Provence and amounts to around 2/3rds of the production. Mostly fresh, dry rosés produced mainly from blends and to be drunk young, there are a few more serious examples from Palette in this micro-region and Bandol, a little further afield. The region is now experimenting with the idea of a sparkling Provencal rosé, which actually works remarkably well, and would be an excellent accompaniment for fish and shellfish dishes.

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