Even in Provence winter. Days, weeks, even months of cold weather. Admittedly the sky is also often a bright blue, making the bitter chill more bearable. But, on days like today, when the clouds are low and heavy, the rain incessant and the mountain peaks of northern Provence are tipped with snow, we are more likely to think of a roaring fire and a glass of full bodied red wine than the swimming pool and a glass of chilled rosé.
So I thought I would made a quick review of my favourite Provençal red wines over the past year. The four dominant varieties in the red wines of Provence are Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. Good examples are full of fruit ranging from red berries (when there is a high percentage of Grenache) through to black fruit, cassis and plums. For winter drinking I thought of those wines which also have big fruit and tannic structure, so I have not included some of the fresher, more floral wines here. In Bellet red wines with a high percentage of Folle Noir tend to be more tannic and structural, while those with a higher percentage of Braquet are lighter and aromatic.
Here is part 1 of my favourite reds: