The harvest is nearly complete in Costieres de Nimes, where, as in the rest of France, 2013 has not been kind to vineyards. The heavy rains and hail storms that plagued Burgundy and Alsace, largely avoided the Languedoc and Provence, but cool and somewhat damp weather have had a toll, not so much in quality but certainly in quantity. As a long-time friend said, she did not move to Provence for this kind of weather.
The amount of Chardonnay we’ve seen and sampled is impressive and highly suggestive of those in the Maconnaise just up the highway a hundred miles or so. Sebastian Trinquetaille says he produces almost 30 different roses but seemed most proud of one blended from Cabernet and Carignan. The South of France is proving that the more northerly grapes can succeed along both sides of the Rhone River.
Two different unidentified roses stole the show when paired with slices of foie gras and gambas-still-in- the-shell fried on “La Plancha.” Cool temperatures and threats of rain do not dampen appetites or culinary pleasures under the normally starry skies of Von Gogh’s Arles.