Log In Sign Up

Château Margüi, Coteaux Varois en Provence RoséProvence, France 2021 (750mL)

The Daily Offer

Château Margüi, Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé Provence, France 2021 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol

As I’m sure you’re aware, the 2021 vintage rosés are here in full force. The sheer abundance of them is downright daunting, but do not fear: We are dedicated professionals, tasting through samples night and day to help you separate the wheat from the chaff. There’s a time and place for the “cheap and cheerful,” but you can find that at the supermarket. What we’re after are new-release rosés that manage to do double duty—that is, be full of zesty, vibrant fruit and be serious wines of place. 


Producers from top Provençal wineries in Bandol or Cassis might spring to mind amongst the cognoscenti, though with a little digging, you’d turn up names like Château Margüi, whose wines have dazzled our subscribers before. This is a layered and exacting rosé from the Coteaux Varois in the wooded, northerly climes of Provence. Grapes are grown in a bucolic natural wonderland, untouched by chemicals, before being shepherded to the gravity-fed winery. It goes way beyond dry and pale, with all the intentions befitting a serious wine of any hue—and, when compared to some of its elite Provençal competition (like the ever-more-expensive Domaine Tempier), it comes in at a delicious price. 



To call Château Margüi merely idyllic might actually downplay its truly Edenic setting. Amphoras discovered on the property show that people have been drawn to the so-called Provence Verte since Roman times (and probably before then). It’s a land ripe for homesteading and polyculture, producing grapes and other fruits, wheat, vegetables, and olives, all fed by ample water from natural springs and the Argens River. “Marguï,” with a shift of the umlaut, translates to “small pond” in the old Provençal dialect. In the 18th Century, the property was more of a manor house, although agriculture still persisted, in the form of a silk workshop and sheep pen. 


In more recent times, the property returned to crop production, until it was sold in the late 1990s to Marie-Christine and Philippe Guillanton. They restored the home and a 12th Century chapel, and revitalized the production of wine, replanting the vineyards which had been abandoned for over 20 years. Today, the estate sits protected in a Natura 2000 zone, a designation designed to preserve specific species and habitats across Europe’s nine biogeographical regions. Here that includes calcareous tufa formations, riparian woodlands, and 18 different fauna, including the endangered Southern Damselfly. Everything thrives in this perfect bastion, abutting the Sainte-Baume massif and sheltered from the worst of the northern mistral. A hilly topography and higher elevations also brings a larger diurnal temperature shift than along the Mediterranean coast, which helps retain precious acids in the grapes.


Margüi grows the usual mélange of Provençal varieties on its biodiverse estate, with just 15 hectares of vineyards, interspersed amongst the olive trees and another 65 hectares of forests. The rosé is mostly Grenache Noir (45%) and Cinsault (35%), with support from Cabernet Sauvignon (15%) and Syrah (5%). Somewhat unusual for the area, rosé is not the sole focus of the estate, with just 250 cases produced annually. It’s far from an afterthought, however, as all the cuvées receive the same fastidious attention to detail (and expense) you might find at the most prestigious cellar doors. It begins in the vineyard, with organic viticulture and low yields. Only the ripest and healthiest bunches are harvested by hand and brought in small bins to the gravity-fed winery. They are sorted again and placed in a cold room to preserve freshness prior to pressing. A short maceration for color, phenolics, and texture occurs prior to being pressed gently, then the juice flows to the winery level to begin a long, cool natural fermentation. Aging takes place in stainless throughout, with minimal use of sulfur, before bottling in the spring. The end result is quintessentially Provençal, with zesty fruit, and herby underpinnings. It’s a wine of serious depth and gravitas, transcending whatever preconceptions you might have about the category.


Pour chilled into an all-purpose stem for an explosive nose of pink grapefruit, white peach, and fraises des bois, all of which mirror the vivid light pink color, blushing with silvery flashes at the rim. On the palate, the fruit hums with energy, full of lush red berries and pithy citrus, fresh herbs, and fennel. There’s a soft edge and some creamy texture, but overall it shines as complex and refreshing with snappy acidity leading to a long, long finish. This will drink well over the next two years with a wide range of foods, but it can/should be enjoyed tonight with the accompanying recipe for classic Niçoise onion tart, Pissaladière.




Château Margüi, Coteaux Varois en Provence Rosé Provence, France 2021 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionProvence
  • Sub-RegionCôteaux Varois en Provence
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingCertified Organic
  • BlendGrenache 45%, Cinsault 35%, Cabernet Sauvignon 15%, Syrah 5%
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • Service Temp.45° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stems
  • DrinkNow-2024
  • DecantingNone
  • PairingPissaladière

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionProvence
  • Sub-RegionCôteaux Varois en Provence
  • SoilLimestone & Clay
  • FarmingCertified Organic
  • BlendGrenache 45%, Cinsault 35%, Cabernet Sauvignon 15%, Syrah 5%
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • Temp.Serve at 45° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stems
  • DrinkingNow-2024
  • DecantingNone
  • PairingPissaladière