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Blend: From what can be remembered by ancient people, it has not been seen in the past 2 or 3 decades: last grapes in Provence were picked around October 20, one of the latest harvests. The vintage started with a long and cold winter followed by a wet spring. Flowering has been a bit tricky, much less than in the other regions, still we had a lot of "coulure" on Grenache which lowered the production of this grape and affected the final blend. Hot and dry weather finally arrived late June up until mid/end August but the delay on ripening was there. Quite low level of sugar was measured early September but great sanitary conditions in the vineyard. South of France and Provence in particular has been very lucky as the weeks from september 10 to mid-October truly made the vintage: we could enjoy a fantastic Indian summer which enabled slowly but surely to catch up with the ripeness and to finally get high quality harvest. Small crop but great fruits. The other striking fact of the vintage is a high level of acidity which we always look for to preserve freshness in our wines. We focused our selections on the cooler parts of the upper Provence vineyards where the oak and olive tree forests protect the vines planted in the clay-limestone soils and, in some ways, seem to nourish them. The higher altitudes also allow a full maturity without excessive sugars (and therefore alcoholic degree in the finished wines). Blend is completed with grapes from the limestone foothills of Montagne Sainte Victoire, whose wines are almost marked by a vivacious and persistent minerality. , Very fresh Cinsault planted a few meters from the Mediterranean Sea in La Londe des Maures were introduced this year to bring a subtle salty and anise expression. Vines are harvested at night between 3.00am and 9.00am in order to avoid oxidation and to preserve all of the fresh characteristics of the terroir and varietal. Grenache and Syrah are macerated together so that their personalities and qualities intermingle and we find that the reductive character of Syrah balances beautifully with the oxidative natural character of Grenache. For our Cotes de Provence rose we take a path quite apart from the one we follow for our Languedoc rose, with its high proportion of Syrah. We have sought a Provence rose of immense charm and minerality redolent of fennel, anise and purple flowers. The vintage will have a bit less Grenache (we might be around 30%) than 2012 and will be more on the fruit and crispy side of the Cinsault with a spicy note of Syrah.
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