The French Riviera is renowned for le chic. Head to Saint-Tropez, Nice or Cannes and you might see the occasional celeb strutting their diamond-studded stuff along a sun-kissed Provence beachfront 🏖️ or aboard a multi-million pound yacht … if you can get close enough.
When it comes to wine, this part of south-east France isn't all about pale pink. Reds and whites may not be as well-known, which is hardly surprising really. Rosés account for well over 80% of Provence wine production and around 40% of all French rosé comes from here! Yet that doesn't mean the alternatives aren't worth trying. Au contraire, mes amis. Vive la différence! 🇫🇷
The joy of Provence wine hasn't escaped the notice of the Brangelina juggernaut either. Despite their break-up, Brad and Angelina still jointly own the Miraval Estate near Brignol in Provence, which they acquired in 2009. The Perrin family, of Châteauneuf-du-Pape's Château de Beaucastel fame, manages the winemaking with huge success. The inaugural 2012 Miraval rosé release from team Pitt, Jolie and Perrin was widely feted, even making Wine Spectator's top 100 wines, the only rosé to do so!
Here in the UK, Co-op has a long-standing relationship with Miraval. In 2019, the supermarket became the first UK retailer to list Studio by Miraval Rosé. In November last year, they became exclusive stockists of the Blanc.
Studio by Miraval is the estate's more accessibly priced brand. Its name is inspired by a recording studio on the estate, where Sting, The Cure, AC/DC and many others played.
Studio Blanc is made from the Vermentino grape, known as Rolle in Provence. Although generally producing relatively light-bodied, fruity and aromatic wines, Vermentino can deliver complexity. Additionally, depending on where it's grown, particularly in Sardinia and Corsica, it can have a mouth-watering wet stone character too. With spring in the air and warmer weather looming 🌞 🤞, a fresh zingy white can put us in the mood for better times ahead!
The first thing noticeable about Studio Blanc by Miraval 2019 is the bottle. Like the rosé it has a distinctively curved shape and minimalist-style label, reminiscent of a high-class perfume.
… but what does the wine taste like? Is it as chic as it looks and where it's from?
Colour: Pale straw with a little tinge of green.
Nose: Aromatic and floral with notes of lemon 🍋, pear 🍐, quince, a hint of fennel and a slight flinty character.
Palate: Dry, crisp and fruity with notes of lemon 🍋 and lime, juicy pear 🍐, a touch of grated almonds and a wet stone freshness. Medium-bodied with good acidity, the textured palate is a result of vinification in tulip-shaped concrete vats that allow the lees to move around in a similar way to bâtonnage.
Food match: This wine would go well with BBQ king prawns 🦐, light pasta dishes 🍝 and potato salads 🥔 🥗.
Studio Blanc by Miraval 2019 (12.5% ABV) is a great value, well-structured, fresh and vibrant wine, delicious on its own or with food. It's available in selected Co-op stores nationwide for £12. However, it's currently on special offer for £11 before 7th April. So all you need to do is buy a bottle, chillax in the sunshine 😎 and dream of sipping a glass or two on your boat on the French Riviera. Easy!