The Bandol wine region, located near the coast east of Marseille and Cassis, is one of Provence’s most internationally recognized wine regions. Bandol’s vineyards are some of the oldest in France. The Romans planted the first vines some 2,500 years ago. Mourvèdre is the king of Bandol — actually Bandol is the only French wine region that is dominated by the Mourvèdre grape.
For both the red and rosé wines, Mourvèdre must account for at least 50% of the blend, though most producers will use more, with Grenache & Cinsaut usually filling out the rest of the wine’s composition. Syrah and Carignan are restricted in Bandol to composing no more than 15% of the blend or 10% individually. Nearly 70% of the region’s production is red wine with rosé wine being around 27% and a small amount of white production; however, Bandol is probably best known for their rosé. These are two of my favorites from Bandol or anywhere else for that matter.
On October 27, 1943, Lucien Peyraud bottled his first wine, a rosé. Today, the harvest is 100% manual and the fruit is fully destemmed before temperature-controlled fermentation. The rosé is fermented in steel after a cold soak, then matured in vat for 6-8 months before bottling.
The Tempier is 50% Mourvèdre, the rest Cinsault, Grenache and Carignan. It is a beautiful pink gris color with a copper/orange hue. Evocative and vibrant nose of strawberry, watermelon, rose water with some green apple and spice. Equally compelling on the palate with a flavor profile quite similar to the nose, but also with some white pepper and spice. Crisp acidity and rich — but there is a certain understated elegance as well. A lot of hype around this wine — but all well deserved in my opinion.
Imported by Kermit Lynch.
2008 Domaine de la Bastide Blanche Bandol Rosé
In the early 70’s Michel and Louis Bronzo acquired the property of the Bastide Blanche, with an eye to producing from appellation Bandol wines the equal of more famous appellations like Chateauneuf. Their painstaking efforts were rewarded in 1993 when vintage conditions created the benchmark year to put Bandol in general and Bastide-Blanche, in particular, on the map of top producers in France. Not surprisingly, there is a rosé in the portfolio of wines, made from predominantly Mourvedre, with Grenache and Cinsault.
This has a bit more body, the fruit is a bit more forward (think more strawberry, less spice). It doesn’t have the same amount of spice, nuance or complexity as the Tempier, but it is also very good. Overall, I prefer the Tempier — but the Domaine de la Bastide is the value choice between the two.
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler.
Mas de Bressades — they make a great rosé and a Roussanne/Viognier — both in the $12-$13 a bottle range
Chateau D’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé
Clos Sainte Magdeleine Cassis Blanc 2007 — great white wine from Cassis appellation in Provence