“As has been the case for the past couple of years, it is obvious that the Côtes de Provence style (extremely pale colour, restrained fruit, angular light-bodied palate) is the paradigm. It is perhaps fanciful to sense that in many cases there had been the potential to make more overtly fruity wines but that the winemakers, marketers or accountants had decided otherwise. Following on from the above, I guess that we in the industry have to acknowledge that a lot of consumers prefer wines that are not hugely expressive.
“As far as origin is concerned, the surprise was that three of our Golds were Italian. Two were Sangiovese-based wines from Tuscany and the other a Nerello Mascalese from Sicily.”