The Provençal dream | Sun, sea and fantastic wines


Provence is known around the world for its rosés, but it also produces brilliant red and white wines. In fact, 80% of the wines from this region that were sold in last year’s iDealwine auctions were red wines. After analysing the auction data, we can tell you that Provence’s wines saw a significant increase in both value (+37%) and average price which settled at €85 (+35%).

The wine-growing region of Provence, which covers a little over 29,000 hectares split into three zones, is predominantly known for producing rosé wines. Not only are these wines idolised in France, which is their primary market, but they are also loved around the world. The region that produces these rosés, which feel like a kiss from the sun on a summer’s day, also produces 5.6% of the total volume of rosé wines around the world. Today, rosé wines account for almost 90% of Provencal wine production, with the remaining 10% being split between red wines (6%) and white wines (4%).

Provence, a land of great red wines

At auction, Provence is primarily represented by its red wines rather than its rosés. The reason for this is that Provence produces amazing wines that are perfect for long-term cellaring, particularly those that are made from the wonderful Mourvèdre grape. A few hundred bottles of rosé wines were also sold at auction last year with one or two making it onto the list of the highest-priced Provence bottles sold in 2022, which just goes to show that when produced by talented winemakers, it is even possible for these wines to age gracefully. In fact, the oldest rosé sold last year came from the iconic Domaine Ott and dates back to the 1973 vintage! Provence also produces delicious white wines, and the proof is in the pudding, as 288 bottles were sold at iDealwine auctions in 2022, with a 2015 vintage by Domaine de Trévallon selling for the highest price at €186.

Trévallon, an icon

The trio at the top of the best-selling domains at auction in 2022 are the embodiment of the talent that Provençal vineyards have to offer. At the top sit legendary Domaine de Trévallon, followed by a star from the Bandol appellation, with Domaine Tempier, and a rarity, Château Simone located in Palette.

A high proportion of bids were centred around one of Provence’s stars, Domaine de Trévallon, which is located in the wine-growing region of Alpilles. Domaine de Trévallon has carried the whole region to success, accounting for 39% of the volume sold at auction for all bottles from Provence in 2022. The domain owes its success to the genius and foresight of the late Eloi Dürrbach, who passed away in 2021, as he did not hesitate to take dynamite to the land surrounding the house which he inherited from his parents in order to plant vines in the early 1970s. Today, his daughter Floriane continues his masterful work. Regardless of whether the wine is being sold from the Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence appellation, the Bouches du Rhône VDP or the Alpilles IGP, the bottles are always beautifully decorated with the artwork of her grandfather. Vintage after vintage, the blend of garrigue flavours and elegant minerality continues to impress lovers of incredible Southern wines. The highest-priced bottle in 2022 was the 1988, which sold at auction for €298 in December 2022.

Bandol, a star appellation

Bandol is undeniably the most renowned appellation in Provence, and on top of this, it is also the best represented as it is featured both on the list of the best-selling Provence estates (12/20) and in the TOP 20 list of highest-priced bottles (10/20). Several prestigious signatures stand out, including Domaine Tempier (2nd in the TOP list by domain and 1st in the list by bottle), which is represented by its exceptional Cabassaou (€446 for the 1990 vintage) and La Migoua (€130 for the 2001 vintage) cuvées. Next are the wines by Château Pradeaux, a historic domain in the appellation, which are highly sought-after due to their capability for long-term cellaring. Its 1964 vintage came in second place on the list of the highest-priced bottles, selling for €322. Then, there is Pibarnon, which owes its success to a superb 1989 vintage, produced by the creators of the domain, which finished in 5th place in the list of Provence bottles. Last but not least is Terrebrune which secured its place as one of the stars of the appellation, though its prices remain lower than the three domains mentioned above. A bottle from its 2003 vintage sold for €74 at auction, coming in 9th place in the list of the highest-priced bottles.

A mosaic of styles and winemakers

Château Simone is a timeless domain which has been eager to invest in rosé producing vineyards for several years. It was ranked as the third best-selling domain at iDealwine’s auction in 2022, with a total 193 bottles sold. This is a significant increase in volume, and also in average price, which shot up by 29% to €67. This is great recognition for a domain which produces sought-after wine in all three colours, especially its whites. A white wine from this domain in the 1989 vintage sold for €149 in October 2022. This is a testimony to the remarkable long-term cellaring potential of the wines produced at Château Simone which is not just the case for the red and white wines, but for the rosés as well.

Multiple leading winemakers stand out, such as Dominique Hauvette, at the eponymous domain from Baux-de-Provence, which secured 5th place amongst the best-selling domains at auction. Then we have a pioneering cuvée from Château d’Esclans which sits in 8th place on the list of highest-priced bottles. The Garrus rosé, which aims to be “the most expensive rosé on the market” and which is actually one of only three wines to feature in this colour within the list, reached €74 for its 2017 vintage. Another interesting entry is Clos Saint-Vincent located in Bellet just outside of Nice. A 2014 bottle of Le Clos cuvée sold for €74, despite the current threat to the appellation due to property development speculation. Finally, iDealwine’s 2022 auctions included a Pinot Noir produced by the monks of the Lérins Abbey, located just off the coast of Cannes, whose 2009 vintage was sold at auction for €71.

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