The AOC Côtes de Provence, like all appellations in France and around the world, brings together different white, rosé and red wines. While some are perfect for simple consumption, other Provence wines are worthy of the greatest vintages. Discover the best AOC Côtes de Provence wines .
The AOC Côtes de Provence appellation
Before focusing on the great vintages of AOC Côtes de Provence wines , let's focus on the characteristics of this appellation from the south of France.
What is an AOC (Appellation d’origine Contrôlée)?
The AOC often goes hand in hand with the AOP. The Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) is a European sign which identifies products entirely manufactured in the same geographical area, and according to recognized know-how. It is these precise criteria which give the product its specificity. The PDO then protects the name of the product throughout the EU (European Union).
Products with Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) meet the same criteria as AOP products. The protection of their name is however limited to French territory. Generally, the AOC is only a step towards obtaining an AOP.
The designation of origin, whether controlled or protected, highlights the terroir and all the originality of a specific production area, whether from a biological point of view (soil, climate, etc.) or from a from a human point of view (collective know-how).
The Côtes de Provence appellation
The Côtes de Provence wine region has had both the French label (AOC Côtes de Provence), since 1977, and the European label (AOP Côtes de Provence), since 2009.
With a vineyard of more than 20,000 hectares, the AOC Côtes de Provence extends over 3 departments (Var, Bouches-du-Rhône and Alpes-Maritimes) and 84 communes. Winegrowers produce rosé wine (90%), red wine (6%) and white wine (4%). Certain AOC Côtes de Provence can also be followed by another name, specifying the production area: La Londe, Fréjus and Sainte-Victoire.
The wines are then produced from different Provençal grape varieties:
- Red grape varieties and black grape varieties : syrah, cinsault, grenache, mourvèdre, tibouren;
- White grape varieties : Clairette, Vermentino (or Rolle), Ugni Blanc, Semillon.
Wines in AOC Côtes de Provence
The characteristics of Côtes de Provence vary depending on the grape varieties, winemaking techniques and terroirs. However, we can determine specificities common to the AOC Côtes de Provence.
- The color of the AOC Côtes de Provence : the AOC Côtes de Provence red wine is purple when it is young, then it takes on ruby hues after aging. Rosé wine ranges from pale salmon to peony pink. White wine offers a beautifully pale yellow, with green reflections;
- The nose of the AOC Côtes de Provence : the red wine offers fruity and vegetal aromas of red fruits, rosemary, bay leaf, thyme. The AOC Côtes de Provence rosé wine gives fruity notes (black fruits and red fruits), floral (anise, fennel, broom, etc.), vegetal (tobacco, mint, etc.), even balsamic (pine bark). White wine releases notes of citrus, flowers (acacia, fennel, etc.) and spices (pepper).
- The AOC Côtes de Provence on the palate : the red wine can be powerful or light, and has good aging potential. The rosé wine is dry, structured and round, with a nice balance between alcohol, acidity and tannins. The AOC Côtes de Provence white wine has a fresh finish and a beautiful structure.
The best AOC Côtes de Provence red wines
AOC Côtes de Provence red wines generally have good aging potential. It is generally recommended to wait a few years to open a good bottle. Here are some AOC Côtes de Provence red wines that will delight you.
- Red 2016 AOP Côtes de Provence - Le Pigeonnier: this organic red wine with aromas of red fruits and pepper goes well with meats in sauce and cheeses with character;
- Red 2019 AOP Côtes de Provence - Château de Berne Grande Cuvée: this red wine with notes of black fruits, violet and pepper can be enjoyed with grilled meats and truffled cheeses;
- Red 2019 AOP Côtes de Provence - Château des Bertrands: this characterful red wine with aromas of red fruits and liquorice highlights the beef.
The best AOC Côtes de Provence rosé wines
Generous, balanced and fresh, AOC Côtes de Provence rosé wines are no longer limited to aperitifs, and can accompany sophisticated dishes from the beginning to the end of the meal. You still have to choose a good bottle of AOC Côtes de Provence rosé , of which here is a selection.
- Château des Bertrands – rosé wine 2020: this rosé wine with aromas of white-fleshed fruits goes perfectly with grilled fish or goat cheese;
- Château de l'Escarelle - Château cuvée - rosé wine 2020: with its aromas of redcurrant and ripe strawberry, this rosé wine goes wonderfully with southern dishes and seafood;
- Château Saint-Roux – rosé wine 2020: the aromas of vine peaches, citrus and exotic fruits of this rosé wine highlight cheese platters and local dishes;
- Berne - cuvée Les Oliviers - rosé wine 2020: this fruity and floral organic rosé wine can be enjoyed with Provençal dishes, such as vegetable tian or grilled red mullet;
- Le Comptoir des vins de Flassans - Cuvée Rêves - rosé wine 2021: this fresh and creamy rosé from Provence goes well with white meat, grilled meats and fish.
The best AOC Côtes de Provence white wines
The notes of white fruit and flowers in white AOC Côtes de Provence wines offer beautiful acidity. We thus find very beautiful vintages.
- White 2016 AOP Côtes de Provence - Château de Berne Grande Cuvée: this ample white wine with aromas of milk bread can be enjoyed with pan-fried foie gras or in a terrine, poultry or white fish;
- White 2019 AOP Côtes de Provence - Château des Bertrands: the exotic fruit aromas of this white wine highlight grilled fish and fine charcuterie;
- White 2019 AOP Côtes de Provence - Le Pigeonnier: this white wine, which won a gold medal at the Concours des Vins de Provence, is distinguished by its minerality, perfect to accompany noble fish;
- White 2021 AOP Côtes de Provence - Ultimate Provence: this white wine with a unique bottle and notes of pepper and citrus reveals its complexity with seafood.
Do you want to discover all the richness of the Provençal terroir? Visit one of the wine estates of Provence to taste the best AOC Côtes de Provence wines .