Château Simone Palette Rosé | 2022


In 2009 I traveled the backroads of Provence with no phone, only a map and my piecemeal directions of how to get to Château Simone. Anxious and roaming endless circles of pebbly roads, the importer clearly told me, “Whatever you do, do not be late to your appointment.” I was late.  

Palette is not a common place. It’s a tiny appellation of on the outskirts of Aix-en-Provence defined by its glorious limestone hillsides. Simone owns more than half of Palette’s vineyards and once you pass the modest gate, it’s like entering a scene from The Sound of Music: the sweet hum of bird and bees, exquisitely manicured lawns, and stately quarters with a circular driveway. In the years following my visit, I lost touch with the wines of Château Simone as I moved to a new coast, started new programs, and eventually took a break from the front-facing side of wine. An estate that I loved so much, I unconsciously buried in my piles of new producers, new grapes, and new trends. Last week I realized my folly, when I was at Amara. My friend and beverage director, Amanda Fraga, was offering Chateau Simone Rosé by the glass for a somm-friendly price. I drank one glass (then another) and instantly felt a compelling jolt of joy, love, sadness, and joy.  

Belonging to the Rougier family since 1830, Simone’s gentle climate is influenced by encircling pine trees, the nearby Arc River, and a soft altitude topping-off at 750 feet. Resurrected after the devastation from phylloxera, many vines surpass one-hundred years (and are re-planted on a vine-to-vine basis). The rosé blend is identical to the red: 45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, and 20% Syrah with a bevy of ancient and exotic Provençal grapes. Followers rave about drinking Simone rosé with years of bottle age, but in its youth it’s darn extraordinary. Full throttle with every type of raspberry and blackberry, along with their wild lookalikes, the fruit is powerfully juicy, yet keeps its mystery on the palate, like the treats of a secret garden. And the color, a kind-of strawberry punch, completely flips the consumer model in which pale-pink reigns supreme. I’m very happy that I ran into Simone, after all these years. This time, I’ll make sure to keep in touch, as I’d like to drink with her more often. ~Allegra A       


Main Grape
Winemaking style
More Natural
Try with
Linguine with Tuna Puttanesca

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