Varois, Coteaux

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Varois, Coteaux, enclave within the Côtes de provence appellation which takes its name from the Var département. Of wines produced from the 2,505 ha/6,187 acres in production by 2013, 90% were rosé. The wooded hills around Brignoles are based on limestone and are so buffered from warming maritime influence by the hills of Ste-Baume that vines will not ripen at all reliably at elevations of more than about 350 m/1,100 ft.

Reds and rosés may incorporate a wide array of grapes: the rosé varieties Grenache and Cinsaut but also Syrah and Mourvèdre (which will ripen only in the warmest sites) are the principal dark-skinned grapes but Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignan, and the Provençal speciality tibouren are allowed a minor role. This gives the better producers an exciting palette from which to work; some of them produce several different blends which vary in style by virtue of both varietal mix and élevage. For white wines, Grenache Blanc is added to those varieties permitted for Côtes de Provence Blanc (see provence), although Vermentino is increasingly appreciated.