Saint-Tropez conjures up visions of blue water, bronzed jetsetters, and an ever-flowing supply of rosé wine. Even if your travel plans this summer won't take you to the south of France, you can experience a taste of St-Tropez with the superb rosé wines of Château Minuty. Founded in 1936, Minuty has always been a family business and today it is managed by the founder's grandsons François and Jean-Etienne Matton. One of the last family-owned estates in the region, Château Minuty overlooks the Bay of St-Tropez, in the renowned Côtes de Provence. I recently had the pleasure of sharing a few bottles of Château Minuty rosé at Gotham Bar & Grill with François when he was visiting New York City.
François Matton, grandson of the founder of Château Minuty.
image courtesy of Château Minuty
I was impressed not only by the quality of the Minuty wines but also the down-to-earth attitude of François and his belief that wine is meant for sharing and bringing joy to our day. Château Minuty is the last estate in Côtes de Provence to harvest their grapes entirely by hand and all of their grapes are grown chemical-free and utilizing sustainable practices. This minimal intervention really allows the essence of the grapes and terroir to shine through. Château Minuty's portfolio elegantly shows that rosé has many different expressions and is not a one-note wine.
"M" de Minuty 2016 ($20) is Château Minuty's most accessible everyday rosé - perfect as an apéritif and paired with light salads and simple seafood dishes like shrimp cocktail. A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah, "M" is dry and smooth with vibrant acidity and bright, but not overwhelming, flavors of white peach, pink grapefruit, and blood orange.
A blend of Grenache and Tibouren, Rose et Or 2016 ($40) is a step up in complexity with fuller body and more concentrated flavors of pink grapefruit and white peach. Absolutely luscious with lively acidity, this more robust rosé immediately made me crave a savory saffron and garlic infused bouillabaisse (traditional Provençal fish stew from Marseille). Rose et Or would also pair beautifully with spicy Asian food, paella, and grilled lobster.
Cuvee 281 2016 ($75)
Ok, I know you're probably thinking "a $75 rosé, that's crazy!" Clearly, Cuvee 281is not a "rosé all day", TV binge-watching, happy hour wine but something much more special. Sourced from 25-year-old Grenache vines and blended with Cinsault and Syrah, Minuty describes the limited-production 281as the highest expression of their estate. Balancing elegance with exuberance, Cuvee 281 almost drinks like a red wine while maintaining the levity of rosé. Intense but balanced flavors of white peach and melon meld superbly with crisp minerality and a savory hint of the sea. The name 281 is inspired by the shade of Pantone blue that resembles the striking blue waters of the Mediterranean and the bold skies of St. Tropez. Fittingly, the bottle is adorned with a dramatic swoosh of Pantone 281. Cuvee 281 has enough structure and body to pair with more substantial foods like scallops and seafood risotto. Even a salad topped with rare and thinly sliced red meat won't overwhelm this rosé.
image courtesy of Château Minuty
If you're planning a trip to Saint-Tropez, Château Minuty welcomes guests at their tasting room and boutique. Cheers!