Le Grand Cros has announced that its eagerly awaited cuvée Aurélia 2019 will be available to buy in the UK from 15th June.
Hailing from Côtes de Provence and originally launched by award-winning wine producer Julian Faulkner with a 2015 vintage named in honour of his eldest child, Aurelia was created to showcase the very best of the terroir at Le Grand Cros. At the same time, it would take rosé beyond the pool/beach side lunch setting and offer discerning drinkers a fuller-bodied, more structured and altogether more serious take on the region’s classically light rosé.
Faulkner’s trialling of alternative styles actually dates back to 2004 in what was then labelled “Nectar” rosé. This saw him experiment with oak, longer skin soak, raising on lees and even micro-oxygenation, and in the vineyard with different varieties, levels of maturity and blends.
“As a producer I had become bored with only making the Provençal style rosé. It had reached a point when these wines had become so popular that even traditionally non-rosé producing regions had begun to produce rosés in this same style.”
Such was the overwhelmingly positive reaction to the Aurélia 2015 that a 2016 release followed. A three-year gap then ensued to ensure the vintage was once again perfect.
Created using grapes hand-harvested in September, Aurélia 2019 spent eight months on lees and partially in oak, allowing it to develop a creamier texture and greater complexity.
Where some years ago a summer rosé release would have been viewed as too late in the season, as Julian explains its global popularity means rosé is no longer viewed as being solely a summer drink. “The substance and richness of cuvées such as Aurelia can enhance food at any time of the year.”
With its elegant pink hue with salmon reflections, the Aurélia 2019’s nose is expressive and complex, with some floral notes, candied melon and mango, sweet spices (cinnamon) with a little zesty lift of grapefruit. The mouth, ripe and full, is balanced. A beautiful structure reinforces the original and elegant character of this gastronomic rosé.
“If you have tried previous vintages, the 2019 is more feminine with less vinosity. Just like her namesake, she is growing up and showing immense charm and finesse.”
Aurélia 2019 is being bottled on 4th June, with just 200 cases being produced. It will be available from boutique company Asset Wines priced at £28.95 a bottle. It can also be purchased directly from the Faulkner Wines website.
“While expensive for a rosé, Aurelia is inexpensive for a fine wine. We want to make a style of rosé that can provide the same kind of pleasure that a wine lover would gain from opening a £30 burgundy.”
Located 50km west of St Tropez in the foothills of the Massif des Maures, surrounded by pine and olive trees and dry-stone terraces, Le Grand Cros was founded by Julian’s parents in 1989. Ten years later their son took over, overseeing a major restructuring of the vineyards and winery and bringing renewed vigour to the estate.
Today Le Grand Cros is known mostly for its quality rosé wines, but also makes red, whites and sparkling, all under the Faulkner Wines umbrella.
Faulkner Wines launched a second brand, Jules, in 2005, in order to offer a range from different regions and appellations across the south of France with an overarching objective of delivering great value.
Today Faulkner Wines produces over 500,000 bottles of quality wine and sells to over 20 countries through top distributers. Future plans include ensuring that the estate becomes fully carbon neutral.