Côtes de Provence rosé 2013: panel tasting results

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The complexity of rosé, with its colour variations and different regional styles, makes it one of the more difficult wines for producers to get right. As such our tasters found it impossible to define a Provençal style of rosé, but one message emerged loud and clear: don’t assume the palest wines will be the most elegant and the highest quality. See our top 33 rosés here...
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Le Grand Cros, L'Esprit de Provence
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Le Grand Cros, L’Esprit de Provence

Le Grand Cros, L’Esprit de Provence
Decanter average score: 18.5/20pts (95/100pts)
Individual judges’ scores: Jo Ahearne MW 18.5 Simon Field MW 18.5 Elizabeth Gabay MW 18.5
Bought by the Faulkners in 1989, Bordeaux-trained Julian Faulkner started making wine at the family estate in 2000. Despite a relatively sheltered location 60km inland, protected by the foothills of the Massif des Maures, a bitter finish – common in 2013 – was evident during winemaking in some tanks, forcing extra-vigorous selection at the blending stage, and resulting in lower volume. Grenache was least affected and this is reflected in the high (75%) proportion in the blend, with the remaining 25% being Syrah. L’Esprit is Faulkner’s top-of-the-range rosé.
Jo Ahearne MW Pretty pale pink with orange hues. Good concentration and a lovely texture. Delicate cherry fruit. Great balance. Manages to walk the fine line between a fruit-forward style and the more savoury characters.
Simon Field MW Elegant damask rose colour; savoury fine orchard fruit nose with hints of agrume and forest floor. The palate does not lack for charm; red fruit and hints of mandarin evidenced, fennel and laurel behind that with a finely etched finish with balletic poise and a real sense of worth.
Elizabeth Gabay MW Very pale pink. Fresh strawberry fruit aromas and a creamy texture and good acidity on the palate. Nice charm and attractive.
Price: £10-£12 Noel Young, Pall Mall Wine, The Fine Wine Co, The Sampler, The Secret Cellar  
Drink 2014
Alc 13.5%