Cotes de Provence wine appellation in France Restaurants, Wine, Travel, Opinions

Cotes de Provence wine appellation
Wine appellation

Reviewed By

Sue Dyson and Roger McShane
Address: Provence
Country: France

The Cotes de Provence wine appellation is the largest appellation in Provence and was first recognised in October 1977. The main areas of production are the southern strip from St Tropez to Toulon, the central area around Les Arcs and the slopes to the north of Draguignan.
This appellation is home to some very good wines with some of the rose wines being outstanding examples of the genre. There are also some excellent red and white wines produced here. We have enjoyed some excellent wines from Commanderie de Peyrassol at Le Luc, Domaine de La Courtade (which is on the Ile de Porquerolles) and Chateau Minuty at Gassin near St Tropez.
The principal grapes for red wines are Cinsaut, Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Tibouren. These are supported by the secondary grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, Clairette, Semillon, Ugni Blanc and Vermentino (usually called Rolle in Provence). The last four are white grapes but small quantities of white wine are often added to red wines in France. Under some circumstances Barbaroux and Calitor can also be used.
The principal grapes for white wines are Clairette, Semillon, Ugni Blanc and Vermentino (Rolle).
The geographical denominations of Sainte-Victoire, Fréjus and La Londe (which can be added to Cotes de Provence on the label) have slightly different rules but the grapes are very similar.
Fourteen vineyards from within this appellation can display Cotes de Provence Cru Classe on their labels. This is supposed to represent the finest wines of the area, however it would be unwise to take this as a guide to quality. There are some very good wines that bear this nomenclature but there are also many excellent wines that don't.
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