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The wines of Domaines Ott

Route du Fort de Brégançon, F-83250 La Monde Les Maures, France
Phone: +33 (0)4 94 01 53 53  Fax: +33 (0)4 94 01 53 54
Website: www.domaines-ott.com E-mail: domaines.ott@wanadoo.fr
UK agent: Champagne & Chateaux (ph. 0207 498 4488)

Unlike the Languedoc, which now has several dozen top-flight producers leading a quality revolution, Provence has lagged a bit behind. Why? Perhaps it’s because of the strong local demand for easy-drinking rosé, and the relatively low quality expectations this brings: it’s possible for producers to make a good living here by making unexceptional wine and peddling it to the affluent tourists. The one exception is Bandol, which is the most successful Provencale appellation by a long way, known for its superb Mourvèdre-based reds.

Founded by Marcel Ott at the end of the 19th century, Domaines Ott is a family owned operation involving three estates, Château de Selle (Taradeau), Clos Mireille (La Londe Les Maures) and Château Romassan (La Castellet). These three estates produce an extensive portfolio of Provencale wines in three colours, and although the bottle shapes will scare most geeks away (see their website; they really are very ugly), they are quite serious wines. It’s quite a large operation, with over 170 ha of vines spread among the three estates. Quality is solid, but nothing here really turned my head.

Blanc de Blancs Clos Mireille 1999 AOC Côtes de Provence
Clos Mireille has 50 ha of vines, with a mixture of shale and clay soils, located near the sea. This wine is a blend of Semillon and Ugni Blanc. Fairly neutral nose leads to a palate with a good concentration of crisp, lemony, herbal fruit. Nice savoury wine. Very good

Clos Mireille Blanc de Côte 1998, AOC Côtes de Provence
A blend of Semillon and Ugni Blanc. Nice herby, lemony nose. Lovely lemony palate with a waxy, citrussy character and high-acid finish. Interesting. Very good

Château de Selle Rosé Couer de Grain 2000 AOC Côtes de Provence
De Selle is an inland estate with 64 ha of vines on chalky-soiled hillsides. This rosé is a blend of Cabernet, Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Very pale orange/pink colour. Lots of soft herby flavours here with a crisp finsh. Attractive for a rosé. Very good

Château de Selle Rouge Longue Garde 1998 AOC Côtes de Provence
A blend of Cabernet, Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Quite a rich, sweetly fruited nose with a rouch of caramel. Tasty herby palate with some caramel-edged herby fruit. Not a blockbuster, but nice balance. Very good+

Château Rotiassan 1999 Bandol
Ott have 60 ha of vines in Bandol, 40 of which are leased. This wine is mainly Mourvèdre, with Cinsault, Grenache and Syrah too. Good colour. Southern, slightly herby nose. Chewy, spicy, well balanced palate. Good intensity, but lacks excitement. May age well. Very good

Rosé Domaniers Puits Mouret 2000 AOC Côtes de Provence
This isn’t an estate wine. It’s a pale, nicely balanced, fresh rosé. Good/very good

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wines tasted November 2001