In this year’s annual rosé report, the International Wine Review evaluated more than 250 rosés from around the world. Among the standouts are the rosés of Domaines Ott, a producer in Provence widely recognized for the high quality and individuality of its wines. Founded in 1912 by Alsatian agricultural engineer Marcel Ott, Domaines Ott is today owned and managed by Champagne Louis Roederer which acquired it in 2004. Fourth generation cousins Christian and Jean-François Ott run Domaines Ott’s three unique estates: Château de Selle, Clos Mireille (both Côtes de Provence) and Château Romassan (Bandol), which are described below. Farmed organically from the beginning, Domaines Ott follows strict cultivation techniques using natural fertilizers and manual debudding to reduce yields.
Château de Selle is a 140 ha estate with 65 ha of vines. It falls within the Côtes de Provence appellation and is located inland on limestone hillsides. The soils are 40 to 50 percent stone and arid, resulting in low yields. Château de Selle had no vineyard when it was first purchased by Marcel Ott and was best known at the time for its silk worms. Year after year, the cultivated area of the estate is increased by crushing the stone and blending it with the rest of the soil.
Clos Mireille is a 50 ha vineyard of 16 year old vines planted on schist and clay; the estate overlooks the sea near the famous Fort de Brégançon and is just 5 km east of La Londe. Clos Mireille was purchased by Marcel Ott in 1935. It is most famous for its Semillon-based white wine, which was the only wine produced until 2006. Clos Mireille is an ancient terrain distinguished for its combination of schists and clays, and by an absence of limestone. The vineyard’s proximity to the sea contribute to the vibrant character of the wines produced at Clos Mireille.
Château Romassan is a 60 ha estate vineyard in the center of Bandol at the village of Le Castellet with vines 25+ years of age planted in limestone, sandstone and marl over a gravel substrata and planted into terraced landscapes. The estate was purchased by the Ott family in 1956. Cultivation methods are traditional, and the soil is mechanically tilled.
Winemaking at Domaines Ott is geared to producing wines that are both elegant and characteristic of their terroir. Grapes are handpicked and strictly sorted, and skin contact for its rosés is kept to the minimum necessary. The pressing is highly refined, and fermentation is carried out in thermo-regulated vats. Aging is carried out in oak casks. Grapes are optimally blended to reveal the unique qualities and flavors of each estate. The wines of its Provence estates are Grenache-based, while its Bandol is Mourvedre-based. Domaines Ott crafts five rosé cuvées and a white, reviewed below.
Domaines Ott 2020 By.Ott Côtes de Provence ($26) 89 Pale in color, the By.Ott is a blend of fruit from diverse sources. It offers reticent aromas of white stone fruit with a light herbal note. It’s precise on a medium weight palate that evokes wet stones and high toned red berries. Finishes clean and dry. 60% Grenache, 28% Cinsault, 8% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre blended and bottled at Château de Selle. 13% alc.
Domaines Ott 2020 Château de Selle Côtes de Provence ($58) 93 Shimmering platinum-peach. Very fine, perfumed bouquet showing citrus zest and hints of stone fruit. Precise and elegant on the palate with a balanced mineral core and silky mouth feel. Impressively long finish with mounting fresh saline acidity. A blend of 65% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, 7% Syrah, and 8% Mourvèdre sourced from 19 year old terraced vines grown in gypsum, clay, dolomite and sandstone in Taradeau close to the Thoronet Abbey (where Cistercian monks made wine) and 10 km south of Draguignan. Organic (not certified) cultivation. Direct press with no malo and aged in oak casks 6-9 months. 14% alc.
Domaines Ott 2020 Château Romassan Bandol ($58) 94 Copper tinged yellow straw. Shows an intricate nose of savory herbs, minerals, and white stone fruit. The savory character also shows on the attack with a dense, almost chewy texture and deep, complex flavors of cured lemon, orange zest, stone fruit, and a touch of chamomile. An elegant wine with a long, mineral-inflected, rich finish. It would be exciting to come back to this same wine in a year or two. A blend of 60% Mourvèdre, 20% Cinsault, and 20% Grenache sourced from the winery’s 60 ha estate vineyard in the center of Bandol. Aged in oak casks 6-8 months. 13.5% alc
Domaines Ott 2020 Clos Mireille Côtes de Provence ($58) 95 Bright onion skin. Mineral accented bouquet with floral and citrus nuances. Dense and full on a firm palate with vibrant mineral acidity and excellent clarity with melon and stone fruit that build with aeration. Finishes with good phenolic grip and persistent mineral length. A blend of 69% Grenache, 24% Cinsault, 2% Syrah, and 5% Rolle. Direct press with short skin contact during pressing; 8-12 months oak aging in oak vats. 14% alc. Annual production of the rosé is about 10 thousand cases.
Domaines Ott 2019 Clos Mireille Blanc de Blancs Côtes de Provence Cru Classé ($43) 92 Showing a medium yellow straw color, the Clos Mireille Blanc de Blancs is softly aromatic showing stone fruit and melon. It’s suave and almost buttery on the palate with a viscous mouth feel and flavors of yellow fruit. We recommend pairing with a burrata salad or cheese soufflé. A blend of 90% Semillon and 10% Rolle.
Domaines Ott 2020 Etoile Vin de France ($170) 95 Rose tinged platinum gold blond. Shows a mineral accented, floral and berry bouquet. Luxurious in the mouth, silky and intense with a mineral edge and intricate pure flavors of yellow cherries and pit fruit with light herbal notes. Very long, seamless finish. A rosé of finesse. A blend of grapes from Domaines Ott’s three estates in Provence–Clos Mireille, Château de Selle, and Château Romassan–with a blend of 80% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre, 15% aged in spherical ceramic vessels. 14% alc.
Importer: Maisons Marques & Domaines