2021 Château La Mascaronne, Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France
(£81.00, per six bottles in bond, laywheeler.com)
There are few properties in the south of France as breathtakingly beautiful as La Mascaronne. There are 60 hectares of organically farmed vines here, and they form one contiguous plot surrounded by oak and olive trees on all sides.
Michel Reybier, owner of Château Cos d’Estournel, a 2ème Cru in Saint-Estèphe, and the elite La Réserve hotels in London, Paris, Geneva, Zurich and Ramatuelle, bought this exquisite estate in 2020, and I raved about his inaugural vintage last year. On the whole, 2021 is not as lush a vintage as 2020, and lesser wines feel a little skinny and undernourished.
However, the top estates have brought a singular definition and elegance to their creations, and La Mascaronne is nothing short of a work of art in 2021. I tasted this beauty back in March, and it has been a rare form of torture waiting for stock to make it to the UK. In the intervening months, I have tasted hosts of 2021s, and this wine soars above all others with its grace, refinement and impressively long finish.
This wine’s endearing hallmark flavours are English rhubarb, pomegranate arils and delicate pink melon tones balanced by crystalline acidity. While I tend to single out grenache-dominant wines in my scribblings, La Mascaronne is made from 40% grenache, 25% cinsault, 20% syrah and 15% vermentino. This layering of ingredients brings the kaleidoscopic flavours found in this divine creation.