In September I was lucky enough to be invited by our good friends Maisons Marques et Domaines to visit an estate whose wines I have been selling for over 8 years and who in my eyes produce THE best Rosé money can buy, Domaine Ott.
We flew in to Nice on the red eye before hopping into the car to follow the wonderful changing landscapes along the A8 towards Marseille. Provence is a beautiful place, that may not be news to you, but as this was my first trip to the South of France since my teens, I now want to live there! On entry into Domaine Ott’s home, Clos Mireille, you are blown away by the sight of a stylish country estate with vines rolling down a gentle slope to the sea …. Wow!
Clos Mireille has been the Ott family’s home since Marcel Ott arrived on the shores of the Mediterranean and founded the Domaine in 1912. Since 2009 the current incumbents, cousins Christian and Jean-François Ott have been running the portfolio of estates, Clos Mireille, Château de Selle and Château Romassan. These estates have recently received a huge facelift and substantial investment in technology following a majority buy-out by Champagne Louis Roederer. This really is a perfect partnership between two companies that share very similar values; minimal intervention and uncompromising precision.
Over lunch we paired the following delicious wines with some select dishes from the estate’s kitchen. All these wines showed very well but a stand out combination was the Les Domaniers Rosé 2014 with Beef Carpaccio.
Blanc de Blancs, Clos Mireille, Domaines Ott , Côtes de Provence AOC, 2014
Les Domaniers Rosé, Sélection Ott, Côtes de Provence AOC, 2014
Rosé Coeur de Grain, Clos Mireille, Domaines Ott, Côtes de Provence AOC, 2014
After lunch we were guided around the winery by the lovely Adelaide Beaudonck. Adelaide has been with Domaine Ott for 4 years and assists the charming Sales Director, Christophe Renard. Here I really started to get an understanding of the great history of this prestigious estate and their relentless pursuit for perfection without compromise.
Following a cheeky late afternoon dip in the Mediterranean, as you do, we were warmly welcomed back at the house with a glass of Louis Roederer Brut and the smell of Bouillabaisse bubbling on an open fire … I could get used to this!
On day 2 we bundled in to the car and set off to the home of Domaine Ott’s red wine, Château Romassan. The estate was acquired by the Ott family in 1956 and lies at the foot of the village of Le Castellet, in the heart of the Bandol appellation. This region is known for its terraced landscapes built from the hard stone, with vines planted into vast terraces with varying exposures. The poor fertility of the soil is offset by the large amount of stone content in this region, perfect for the king red grape of the area, Mourvedre.
If you haven’t yet tried the reds of Domaine Ott, I would urge you to sample the Rouge Bandol, Château Romassan, Bandol AOC. We tried the 2012, which worked perfectly as a lunchtime drinking wine paired with wonderful cold fish and meat dishes. We were also treated to a bottle of 1999 Rouge Bandol, which was case-in-point that these wines really do age very well.