Very soft, graceful and creamy, with lovely nougatine purity. To taste it’s fresh and subtly herby, with an elegant palate of breezy red fruits and deeper, earthier hints. This is truly a superb, vinous, sophisticated rosé, with magnificent depth and creamy finesse. How do you improve on this? (13.5%)
£15.95 Corney & Barrow POA Plume Ridge USA
Although Château La Tour de l’Evêque wine is a classic Provence rosé, it does have a touch of Bordeaux in its DNA. It was created by Régine Sumeire after she visited her friend (and then estate manager) Jean-Bernard Delmas at Château Haut-Brion in 1985. Following his advice , she used some of the white wine vinification methods she saw there in her new rosé.
Sumeire had been making wine in Provence since 1978 – one of the first women in the region to do so – but the family history goes back much further.
It was her grandfather, Gabriel Sumeire, who built up the family’s Provence wine estates, including the large property of Château La Tour de l’Evêque near Pierrefeu in the Var, in 1958. It had previously been the summer residence of the archbishops of Toulon and, unusually, has two names: Château La Tour de l’Evêque and Château La Tour Ste-Anne.
In the old days, it was said there was no water at La Tour de l’Evêque because, when the lady of the manor’s husband left to fight in the Crusades, she poisoned the well with her tears. Centuries later, Gabriel Sumeire ended the curse by the somewhat prosaic solution of linking the property to the Font-Freye spring.
Tour l’Evêque is located in the Maurette Hills, where the landscape is a mixture of schist soils of Hyeres rock, and of red permian sandstone.
This Trophy-winning wine is a blend of eight grape varieties, all of them sourced from old vines with an average age of 25 years: Cinsault (42%), Grenache (38%), Syrah (9%), Ugni Blanc (4%), Mourvèdre (3%), Semillon (2%), Cabernet Sauvignon (1%) and Rolle (1%).
There were no other Regional Trophies tasted in this category.