Concours général agricole 2019

Medals Falling from an Azur Blue Sky

The results are in – the 2019 vintage has been tasted, tested and judged – and there are some great wines to be enjoyed from Provence and the Côte d’Azur this year.

Better Rosés – Better Life!

The vintage of 2019 surprised many of us who watched the year unfold – with some late frosts and very wet periods, which brought great challenges for the vignerons. Notwithstanding this – the outcome has been some really exciting wines, notably the Rosés that are lively and fresh.

I’ve been enjoying the first visits of the year to see who has been winning medals amongst the vineyards that we tour around with our guests. And there are plenty of “Golds” out there from the various competitions….

Château de Saint Martin

Cru Classée since 1955

This wonderful estate that has been in the same family since 1740 (that’s 11 generations!) was this year given Gold Medals for two of their pink wines at the Concours Generale Agricole in Paris – the most prestigious competition that you can enter in France.

Their Grande Réserve is an absolute classic provençal-style Rosé, bursting with peach aromas and has the most delicate of hues. The Eternelle Favorite, in its elegant elongated bottle, shows the feminine side of the vineyard with its floral notes and distinct style based on the Tibouren grape. Both worthy winners to be enjoyed without hesitation!

Jas d’Esclans

Always Organic and Always Good…

This family owned estate near Le Muy in the Var was one of the first certified organic vineyards in Provence.

Run by the De Wulf family, they produce a fantastic range of wines – including a Rosé aged in oak barrels that is well worth trying, called the Cuvée du Loup.

But this year the star medal winner is another Rosé from the 2019 vintage – the Coeur du Loup (or “heart of the wolf”). Winning Gold in Paris and praised for its intensity, length and body this classic provençal rosé will pair with your best barbecue-grilled chicken or sausages, or even with spicy Asian cuisine.

Domaine de Toasc

Perched high on the hills overlooking the Mediterranean

The Domaine de Toasc sits high on the south-west facing slopes of the Bellet overlooking the Baie des Anges just up behind the city of Nice. Here, everything is organic, handpicked and done on a small scale – boutique wine you could call it…

I’ve been visiting this estate now for four years, and although quite a young vineyard, their wines get better and better. Notable is the White 2018 which won Gold in the Elle Magazine sponsored “Elle à Table” in 2020. Based on the Rolle grape, which is the dominant white varietal in this part of France with its crisp, citrusy flavours – its pitch perfect with some grilled fish this summer.

Medals Falling from an

Azur Blue Sky

Specialist in leading anglophone visitors to the Riviera on expert-guided wine tours, around the Côtes de Provence AOP in the Var near Saint-Tropez, and to the Bellet and other vineyards in the beautiful hill villages around Nice
By Peter J Wear