Review of The Wines of Provence – Tricolour, by Göran Boman (published 2019, 280 pages, £29.99 from Amazon)

When I was asked to present on Provence a few months ago, it rapidly became clear that there were few comprehensive, up-to-date guides to the region. Thank goodness then for this book which, as you might imagine from the author’s name, has been translated from the original Swedish.

It is a comprehensive reference work, rather than a coffee table book, which provides plenty of useful information on climate, terroir and winemaking in the region, as well as lots of detail on rosé winemaking, which now accounts for nearly 90% of production. Incidentally, there is a chapter entitled “Too much rosé?”.

There are also producer profiles, listed by appellation, which are full of useful information, as well as colour maps and statistics aplenty.

As well as these useful standards, there are some unexpected moments too, such as an interview with Lars Torstensen, Swedish winemaker and erstwhile head of Château d’Esclans, in the days before it was bought by Sacha Lichine.

While I haven’t yet read Elizabeth Gabay’s new book Rosés of Southern France, which I look forward to, it is useful (vital?) to remember that there is more to Provence than “just” rosé. The great appellations of Bandol (though rosé is now dominant here too), Cassis, Bellet and Palette should not be overlooked and this book provides a timely reminder that they exist.

Overall this is a very useful resource for wine educators (and writers) wanting comprehensive and detailed information about a region that we probably all feel familiar with, yet perhaps don’t really “know”.

As well as this book, Göran also produces the very useful website Wines of Provence.

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