Chateau Roubine: One of Provence’s Finest Wine
Chateau Roubine, a charming winery in sunny Provence, is renowned for its exceptional Rosé wines. In Provence, a whopping 91% of wine produced is Rosé, and crafting this delicate wine involves achieving a balance of complexity and intensity without going overboard on color.
A Brief Story About Chateau Roubine
In 1955, Chateau Roubine was among the initial 23 wine estates honored as “Cru Classé” of Côtes de Provence, and today, it stands as one of the remaining 18. The vineyards underwent a significant transformation in 2008, shifting from conventional to sustainable agriculture. This commitment continued with organic certification in 2017 and the prestigious biodynamic certification from Demeter in 2020. Biodynamic wine production is a lot like organic farming. It encourages using manures and composts while avoiding synthetic chemicals in the vineyard and cellar. The main idea behind biodynamics is to work in harmony with nature’s fundamental forces, creating a self-sufficient environment that focuses on ethical and spiritual values (Wislocki, 2022).
The symbol of Chateau Roubine tells a fascinating tale with the Templars' coat of arms. It showcases the Dragon, representing Draguignan, the Lion, symbolizing Lorgues, both embraced by the warm rays of the Provence sun, while the middle features the vines of the grapes.
As a family-owned business, they specialize in Rose, constituting 70% of their production, with the rest divided between red (30%) and white (10%). Their expertise in Rose is influenced by its unique climate, situated between the Alps and the Mediterranean Sea, offering cool nights and warm mornings. Harvesting occurs from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. to preserve grape freshness and concentrate aromas and flavours, ensuring crispness in both white and rosé wines, as highlighted by Mme Valerie Rousselle. Jean Louis Francone notes that nighttime picking prevents sugar level changes caused by daytime temperatures reaching 30°C. The maceration time for Chateau Roubine wines varies from 2 to 6 hours, depending on the grape variety.
About The Wines & Dinner at Le Mirch
The first wine we tasted was “La Vie en Rose,” a wine with a “carpe diem” message—seize the day and enjoy every moment. When you think of La Vie en Rose, imagine yourself on a rooftop bar or the beach, watching the sunset while enjoying a glass. It’s a wine to unwind with and savor in your everyday moments. This rose blend combines four grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Rolle (also known as Vermentino in Italy), and Syrah. The Rolle grape adds an aromatic touch with citrus notes of grapefruit and orange, while the Syrah brings a hint of spicy white pepper. The wine had a lovely floral scent and a taste profile featuring raspberry, grapefruit, and nectarines.
Perfect for spicy foods—try it with Sambal Prawn with Bitter Beans (Sambal Udang Petai). At Le Mirch, we paired it with a one-bite Panipuri, a delight that opened our appetites alongside the wine.
The Cru Classe Range
Now, let’s explore Chateau Roubine’s prestigious Cru Classe range, featuring a delightful trio of Rose, White, and Red wines. What sets these apart is that they are exclusively crafted from grapes grown right on the Chateau’s own estate.
Let’s start with their white wine, a delightful blend of 60% Vermentino, 20% Ugni Blanc, 10% Clairette, and 10% Sémillon. This white wine adheres to the strict AOP Côtes de Provence classification rules.
Tasting reveals a floral nose with subtle notes of white peach and apricot, leading to a slightly bitter finish due to aging.
Serving Temperature: For the best experience, we recommend serving it below 10 degrees Celsius, considering Malaysia’s hotter climate compared to European countries. This allows you to enjoy the wine longer before it warms up to room temperature.
Pairing Suggestion: Ideal with seafood, such as oysters and goat cheese. During our Le Mirch dinner, we paired it with Prawns Chettinad. To fully appreciate, serve it below 10 degrees Celsius, considering Malaysia’s hotter climate.
Next in line is the Premium Rose, a true representation of the Provence style—elegant and complex, yet not overpowering.
This exquisite wine is crafted from six grapes: Grenache, Cinsault, Mourvèdre, Tibouren, Rolle, and Syrah. Notably, the Tibouren grape, a rare red variety primarily grown in Provence, adds a unique touch with a subtle smoky note. Upon tasting, we experienced a delightful peach and floral undertones, along with a hint of spice from the Syrah. The wine carries a subtle touch of minerality and nuttiness, resulting in a more intricate and extended finish than La Vie en Rose.
Pairing Suggestion: Excellent for a sit-down dinner, especially when paired with grilled foods like lamb and Korean BBQ. For our dinner, we paired it with Butter Chicken and Paneer Makni, both wonderfully creamy with a hint of spice, creating a delightful harmony with the rose.
Our tasting journey concluded with the red wine, which offered an initial aroma of black fruits like blackcurrant and blackberries, accompanied by subtle spice and floral scents. On the palate, it presented a well-balanced combination of red fruit characters, chocolate notes, pleasant acidity, delicate tannins, and a touch of minerality.
Pairing Suggestion: This red wine pairs well with a charcuterie board, Peking duck with sour plum sauce, or meats with rich sauces like Bolognese/Ragu. For our dinner at Le Mirch, we chose to pair it with a Railway Mutton Curry—a dish with a colonial-era history from the 19th century, where chefs used to cook it on the railway during the journey. Despite initial skepticism about red wine with curry, the chef adjusted the spice level, resulting in a surprisingly delightful pairing.
Serving Temperature: To fully enjoy this red wine, we recommend serving it slightly chilled at about 16 degrees Celsius, considering the warmer Malaysian weather.
We want to thank Mme Valerie Rousselle, owner of Chateau Roubine, for her visit to Malaysia and for sharing her exceptional wines and insights. Additionally, we thank the dedicated team at Le Mirch for creating an outstanding dinner experience.