Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Luberon, wines made on the fashionable slopes of the Luberon, where vineyards add colour and bucolic allure to one of the more sought-after corners of Provence. The appellation, which comprised 3,317 ha/8,193 acres of vineyard in 2013, is a sort of buffer state between the rhône and provence, or more precisely between the ventoux appellation and that of Coteaux d’aix-en-provence (although French officialdom places it firmly in the Rhône).

The appellation was created only in 1988 and produces significant quantities of wine, mainly medium-bodied rosés with lightish reds based on Grenache and Syrah which must constitute 60% of the blend, although Mourvèdre is another approved principal ingredient in both reds and rosés. Those who try hard can produce herb-scented reds with some concentration and ageing potential. Whites are made in almost the same quantity as reds, from Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Vermentino, and possibly some Marsanne and Roussanne, with the proportion of Ugni Blanc limited to 50%. The region’s rather cooler nights (and winters) than in most Côtes du Rhône vineyards help to produce some of the crisper, more interesting white wines of the southern Rhône. Rosés may incorporate up to 20% of white grapes, and have particular allure when drunk locally to the sound of cicadas.