Seeing Red in Provence

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Rosé a "cliché?"

Among Provence winemakers, Henning and Sylvain Hoesch are close to being heretics.

The father and son have made wine for a combined 40 years at Domaine Richeaume on the flanks of Montagne Sainte-Victoire, just east of Aix-en-Provence. The gorgeous 160-acre estate, drenched in sunlight reflected off the cliffs of Sainte-Victoire, is a landscape right off a Cézanne canvas, with 70 acres of organic red-soil vineyards, olive and almond groves, grain fields and a flock of 100 sheep.

The Hoesches are contrarians. They shun the local Côtes de Provence Ste.-Victoire appellation (created in 2005), cultivate outsider varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot, and even use a touch of American oak in aging wine.

And here's the worst of it: They don't care much for rosé, the dominant and booming wine synonymous with Provence.

"Personally, I would prefer not to make rosé at all," explained Sylvain, 44, a lanky, blue-eyed winemaker who bottles pink wine, in minuscule amounts, only because some customers demand it.

"Rosé is a beverage—a cliché wine," he said recently on a break from preparations for the September harvest….Read the full blog at Wine Spectator