WINE REVIEW: Miraval, 2019 Rosé, Côtes de Provence, France ($20)
by Andrew Chalk
You might think that Miraval was setting itself up for very public mediocrity. Owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, they bought it in 2011. They held their wedding there in 2014. When film stars or chefs buy wineries the results are usually overpriced plonk. However, Pitt must have been well-advised as he contracted with one of the most famous wine making families in France to handle viticulture and winemaking. The Perrin family of the French Rhône not only own Château Beaucastel there, they were also instrumental in putting California’s Paso Robles on the international map with Tablas Creek which they co-founded in 1989 with the Haas Family of Vineyard Brands.
The result is that Miraval Côtes de Provence rosé, from vineyards near Aix-en-Provence, is a wine with a refined pink hue that somehow reminds me of women’s lips. Four grape types go into the wine: cinsault, grenache, syrah, and rolle (the white grape known as vermentino in Italy). They are partly grown on the estate and partly at nearby properties. The soils are clay and limestone and situated at 1200 feet above sea level.
The wine is made by direct press, except for the syrah which is made with the saignée method. Wine making is 95% temperature-controlled stainless steel and 5% in barrels (with bâtonnage).
The nose is delicate, but one can detect cherries, strawberries, and lemon. In the mouth the wine shows a point-perfect fruit acid balance and pleasant strawberry fruit flavors. Even without the assistance given to red wines, the flavors continue into a surprising persevering finish.
The wine is priced like someone is proud of it but, it has held together longer than its famous owners’ marriage.