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Rediscovering Provence: 18 top-quality reds and whites

Elizabeth Gabay MW makes the case for drinking beyond rosé in a region whose production is vastly dominated by the pink drink.

With all eyes focused on rosés in Provence, it is easy to forget the more traditional reds and the increasingly popular whites. Despite representing under 10% of Provence wine production, red and white wines are still popular among winemakers and are often consumed by locals rather than exported – even if the market for big, hearty reds in France is slowly drying up. Proof of this enthusiasm came in over 400 wines submitted to this tasting.

For the first time ever, in 2022 white Côtes de Provence production (44,000hl) exceeded that of red (40,000hl), and an ever-increasing proportion of red grapes are being snapped up by rosé production. The changes in technology and marketing that have propelled the region’s rosés to world fame have started to spill over to the whites as well, leading to a shortage of white grapes, which are also readily snapped up for the rosés.

Most of the reds and whites are made by small, family-owned estates, contrasting with the big players who almost exclusively produce rosé. Reds and whites are also more common in the region’s secondary APs and IGPs, such as APs Cassis (mostly white) and Les-Baux de-Provence, and IGPs Méditerranée and Var.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 18 top reds and whites of Provence

Tasting notes and scores for 18 top reds and whites of Provence

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