The end of April, I was invited to a Dallas tasting to celebrate the launch of Château de Berne and Ultimate Provence rosés. While on the patio of Stirr on a picturesque Monday sunset and lovely Spring evening, we sipped rosé and talked about the launch of the Provence Rosé Group (PRG)—a subsidiary of 4 leading Provence rosé estates—created earlier this year with the goal of bringing authentic, high quality Provence rosés to US consumers. The rise of rosé is continuing its climb. In an August 9, 2017 Forbes article, a Nielsen stat that that sales climbed 53% by volume to sales of $258 million in the last 52 weeks.
Brand Ambassador Victor Label
We tried two of the brands from the Provence Rosé Group — Chateau de Berne and Ultimate Provence. The company also has Chateau des Bertrands and Chateau Saint Roux, which are currently not in the US today, but Brand Ambassador Victor Lebel told us that the goal is to bring these popular wines to the US consumer over time through the distribution channels in place. This is great for consumers who often don’t have access some of these wines of Provence. Today, both Chateau de Berne and Ultimate Provence have national distribution, so you’ll be able to find the wines we tried.
Our line-up from Ultimate Provence and Chateau de Berne was as follows:
2017 Ultimate Provence Côtes de Provence Rosé, which had notes of strawberry, red raspberry, cherry, jasmine, spice and a nice minerality. This is a blend of Grenache Noir (45%), Cinsault (35%), Syrah (15%) and Rolle (5%).
2017 Chateau de Berne Emotion Côtes de Provence Rosé, which had more mineral notes with the same raspberry, strawberry, cherry and flowers, but with more citrus and juicy melon. The blend is of Grenache Noir (50%), Cinsault (25%) and Syrah (25%).
2017 Berne Inspiration Côtes de Provence Rosé, this wine had notes of cherry, cranberry, cassis and strawberry. This was a blend of Grenache (70%), Cinsault (20%) and Syrah (10%).
2017 Chateau de Berne Estate Côtes de Provence Rosé, this wine was much more complex and shattered the notion that rosé was an aperitif or a “porch pounder.” This wine had structure, complexity and aromatics. It had notes of currant, cherry, raspberry, cranberry, minerality and herbs. It was a blend of 70% Grenache Noir, 20% Cinsault and 10% Other.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the packaging. The bottles look like perfume bottles and are gorgeous.