When the sky turns a particular shade of periwinkle blue and the cherry blossoms explode in Central Park, you know without a doubt that spring has arrived. And with it, a longing for a cold glass of rose wine.
And while rose wine is enjoying a renewed popularity year round with roses being made all over the wine world, nothing says rose better than Provence.
And for me the Luberon is Provence: lush, green, gently undulating hills, vineyards as far as the eye can see, idyllic summer days that revolve around long lunches, when the sounds of laughter and merriment echo through the trees and as night falls, the scent of jasmine and lavender waft delicately on the breeze.
Domaine de la Citadelle is a 45-hectar vineyard that sits at the foot of the rather spectacular hilltop village of Menerbes, about 20 miles east of Avignon in the Luberon. The domaine is made up of 65 different vineyards, each with its particular soil type and microclimate.
Originally set up by Yves Rousset-Rouard, a famous film producer in the 70’s, Domaine de La Citadelle is now run by his son Alex, who has re-discovered his faith in elegance and finesse and has taken his wines in this direction.
Because of the vineyards’ northern exposure, the wines are crisp and clean, with higher natural acidity and tannins, but lower in alcohol, the generous, rounded fruit making them eminently accessible, but not without character. Extremely well-priced, and considered the best in the Luberon, the roses from Domaine de La Citadelle are just as delicious as an aperitif or paired with classic provencale fare, such as with plump, ripe tomatoes and basil, salmon, escargots, foie gras, pate, onion tart, and even mushroom soup.
The appellation is now just known as “Luberon” without the “Cotes de” prefix. It was thought by the INAO (Institut National des Appellations d’Origine) that is would give the region more gravitas.
On a final note, if you happen to be in the area, there is also an amusing corkscrew museum at the domaine.
At Eli’s List:
Domaine de La Citadelle, Les Artemes -- $24.00
Domaine de La Citadelle, Le Chataignier -- $19.00
Domaine de La Citadelle, Le Chataignier, Magnum -- $38