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Good Provence 2015 harvest bolsters growing rosé market

Published:  11 March, 2016

The 2015 harvest in Provence produced 1.308 million hectolitres, according to the latest figures from the region's marketing body, the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence.

The figure is slightly down on the 1.329 million achieved in 2014's bumper season, but still above the five-year average.

The volume equates to some 174 million bottles of wine, of which 88.5% are rosé, 8% red and 3.5% white.

The 2015 vintage began with a relatively wet and mild winter followed by a dry spring.

The summer was characterised by hot, dry weather broken periodically by much-needed showers of rain. As a result, the harvest was brought forward by a few days.

The largest of the appellations, Côtes de Provence, contains 380 of the region's 582 wine producersand were responsible for 962,000hl in 2015.

Its rosés are principally made from Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, with Tibouren, Mourvèdre and white grapes such as Rolle sometimes added.

The 2015 vintage is reportedly fine, delicate and balanced, with aromas of citrus, exotic and red fruits with floral notes and a slight minerality in wines from the driest terroirs.

Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence produced 215,000hl, of which 82% is rosé.

Its rosés are said to be full-bodied and powerful on the palate this year, marrying citrus and red fruit aromas, with a slight acidity that accentuates its strength.

Coteaux Varois en Provence produced 131,000hl.

Rosé comprised 89% of its production.

Among the reds, those from Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence are said to have great ageing potential, with the 2015 vintage already being described as a great vintage similar to those of 2007, 2009 and 2011.

Sales of Provence rosé wines grew dramatically in the UK last year, according to recent figures from the CIVP, up 37% by volume year on year and 11% by value.