And then, staring deep into my soul: “Forbidden.” While I don’t recommend opening a 2001 Bandol anytime within the next few years, other vintages are worth trying soon, even if they might improve with age. de la Tour du Bon, Dom. Cabernet Franc’s Lighter Shade. Top 75 French Wines to Try Before You Quit Drinking (a non-dump bucket list if you will! Esquire participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. With all of the deserved hubbub over Bandol red wines, it’d be easy (but unforgivable) to forget that the region also produces rosé wines of great distinction. Made with Provence in mind and from 100% Grenache grapes, it’s got markedly Spanish flair, with a vibrant colour and lively flavours that range from sweeter peach and nectarine notes to biting pink grapefruit and a dose of spice (white pepper). 6 Bottles., Bandol, Provence $ 119.98 Sure, Bandol is small—a mere 1500 hectares of vines (one-tenth the size of Napa Valley) producing only 60,000 cases of wine annually (compared to 60 million cases produced by Bordeaux each vintage). While such precise specification may give rise to allegations of imaginative exaggeration, there’s no doubt that Bandol possesses a complexity and nuance of flavor shared by too few wines. Warm evenings on the front porch or perhaps the back deck are a great time of year for Rosé wine. The Fourth of July witnessed blistering temperatures around California, and this time the Bay Area was no exception. Bandol has had limited exposure in the United States, until now. Sniff, Swirl, Sip, and Save with The Priority Wine Pass. Bandol is the most interesting and quality-oriented appellation in … Although one can drink Bandol with pleasure within a few years of the harvest (I had an amiable 2004 Bunan at Chez Panisse Café a few months ago), the best Bandol reds don’t peak for 12 to 25 years. Nestled between Marseille and Toulon on the French Riviera, Bandol produces red wines of great power and depth. This is 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, and 20% Cinsault. You’re not just paying for the slinky bottle with this one. Such are the Rosés from Provence. When you’ve finished, your only dilemmas are how many bottles of that rock star 2001 to buy and whether to head down the road to the next domaine and keep tasting or instead to pop the cork of a fresh rosé and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountainous terrain and rolling vineyards from the winery’s terrace. Slight tannins. There’s something magical about Provence that has inspired authors and artists for centuries. If having capacity to age is one of the criteria for assessing quality, then this wins by a country mile. It is there that these wines are part of the lifestyle. Bandol vines are planted on terraces, called “restanques,” which early growers painstakingly carved into the hills in an effort to prevent erosion and facilitate the natural distribution of water resources. Regulations are strict: only hillside plots with a density of at least 5,000 wines per hectare are included in the AOC, the wines must be aged in oak for 18 months prior to release, and growers are expected to express their commitment to low yields by implementing Bandol’s “one vine, one bottle” policy with vigorous pruning. Bandol has this strange tendency to go through odd phases in its maturity: during the first four years it will be drinkable but aggressive, then it will undergo a stage in which the flavor drops out and the wine tastes imbalanced, but after year six or seven it will become more interesting, complex, and approachable. Fortunately, the considerable pride with which Bandol winemakers view their bottlings doesn’t tend to infect their hospitality or largesse. So far so good. Rose. If you know your stuff, it won’t take you long to decipher the next two: Italian powerhouses Barolo/Barbaresco and Brunello di Montalcino, the pride of Piedmont and Tuscany. Excellent value for money. Bandol Bandol is an appellation created in 1941,although viticulture here goes back to before the Romans,for red,rose and white wines from 8 communes around the Mediterranean seaside town of that name between Toulon and Marseilles. Bandol, unlike most of its Provencal neighbors, produces serious vins de garde. … And if they have and they still hate rosés, I ask them if they’ve every tried a Bandol rosé. Rosé may have a reputation as a fair-weather beverage, but there is no good reason why wine that just so happens to be pink can’t be drunk at any and all points of the year. Many of these wines are rare and hard to find. The 12 Best Rosé Wines To Buy Right Now Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. If you like the peach and honey flavors of Moscato wine, look for a pink Moscato Rosé. This outstanding rosé smells sweet, like ripe and juicy strawberries, but tastes clean, bright and decidedly perky. You come to find he and his wife own the place, and he’s in the middle of crushing grapes, but he’d be glad to have you taste whatever you like. After ringing me up, the shop owner held the bottle firmly in his hand and waived his finger at me in warning. “I think of red Bandol as one of the great crossover wines,” he says. The Bunan family moved to Bandol from Algeria in 1961 attracted by the geography and the climate, and have been making a wide range of ever improving wines – white, rosé and several reds - … The freshest of the fresh (or pure, we should say), you’re safe with any one of the Mirabeau range but this edition is crisp, clean, elegant and just perfect to start an evening with. Some I have and others I hope to. Why spend hundred on tastings when you can taste for less or for free with The Priority Wine Pass. Then again, perhaps our Provencal and Provencophile friends purposefully “forget” to mention Bandol when regaling us of the virtues of the Côte d’Azur, hoping we might unwittingly blip past the spectacular hillside vineyards of le Beausset and le Castellet while zipping from bouillabaisse in Marseille to casinos in Monte Carlo. Pair it with a niçoise salad. It’s good for the year at 250 California wineries. Few beverages satisfy on a hot day like a glass of chilled Bandol blush, paired with anything grilled or savored on its own. Pure class. Every year will see a new release focussing on another village where Bollinger has vineyards but, for now, you can enjoy the brand’s signature biscuit and brioche notes in this example, with outstanding minerality and dried apple flavours. One-half of all rosé wine made in France comes from Provence. Provence Rosés: A Summer Staple from Southern France. Consequently, you get a more complex flavour profile whilst retaining all the delicacy one would hope for. The film festival was going on. The former Hollywood couple have co-owned the winery since 2012, and have teamed up with Champagne Pierre Péters to produce this fizz (still made using the TKTK method, as with the still Provençal Miravel wines). When asked the secret of youth, he replied, “The wines of Bandol.” In the 18th and 19th centuries, merchants shipped Bandol to India and the Americas as a matter of course. Most people know mourvèdre as a character actor who pops in and out of wines dominated by celebrities like syrah and grenache. Where is the best Rosé wine from? I have not tried every wine on this list. If they haven’t, we drop everything and go to my house, where they discover that rosés from Bandol are everything rosés should be—dry, crisp, spicy and herbaceous, with strong minerality and a long, clean finish that resonates in the mouth and gladdens the heart. Many wines delight, but Bandol rosé has the potential to redeem (if not your soul, at least your palate). Bandol natives like to describe their wines as having aromas of leather, undergrowth, Havana, and minerality, with flavors of black fruit, eucalyptus, violet and liquorice when young and red fruit, Morello cherry, jam, spices, truffle and hummus when aged. Its depth makes it a goer for food pairings – it can hack creaminess, spiciness and richness as well as lighter dishes. If Bandol is so fabulous—indeed, if it can fairly be called a noble wine—why isn’t it better known? Provençal rosé isn’t “light” on flavor. Rose’s are made around the world, but, when I think Rosé, I think Provence, France. If you are a wine lover, wine connoisseur, wine aficionado or even if you just like to have a couple of glasses on a Friday night, it soon becomes obvious that there are some wines that are held in a higher esteem in the wine world. This sparkling rosé, made exclusively for Great Britain’s oldest wine merchants, Berry Bros & Rudd is, true to the Hampshire-based winery’s signature style, incredibly crisp, with tart red fruit flavours and the notable tang of citrus. Let’s face it, the wild proliferation of celebrity wine brands only serves to make most of us more cynical (and often with just cause). Mateus Rosé. Enjoy on its own, with salty crisps or a piquant salad. Made from another esteemed rosé brand that always comes through on quality, this is the jewel in their crown, made from grapes harvested from three sites across the Côtes de Provence and Bandol regions. The Rosebud rosé is always a treat, and the 2019 blend has 58% of peppery Syrah matched by 42% of the more fragrant Viognier. Mais oui! Tempier, Ch. Made from 1st choice grapes of Mourvedre, Cinsault and Grenache from their organic vineyards and made with the direct press method. 2014 Domaine du Gros Noré Rosé Rosés should be crisp, mineral and dry with complex flavors. One of the most legendary and well-respected rosés out there, Domaine Tempier comes from the Bandol region in Provence. Expect strawberry, melon and rose aromas and a satisfying mouth-coating from the gentle tannins. But that’s only four. Best Dining in Bandol, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur: See 19,690 Tripadvisor traveler reviews of 105 Bandol restaurants and search by cuisine, price, location, and more. Wine has been made in Bandol since the Phoenicians planted the first vines 2,500 years ago. Characterized by cherry and blackberry flavors, an earthy (sometimes herby or feral) richness, a strong tannic structure, and plenty of pepper in its youth, Bandol’s voluptuous ripeness reflects its sun-baked terroir. You probably know Campo Viejo for its Riojas but the rosé is well worth a go, too. Pure Provence, made for the style-conscious, you get gentle fruit flavours (raspberry and peach, in particular) with a hint of watermelon and a good dose of minerality to even it all out. But don’t despair: unless you’re a sommelier of some sophistication or, like me, you stumbled into dumb luck while vacationing in Provence, you’re not likely to have ever heard of a tiny seaside region called Bandol. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be on the list. Nor should Bandol’s privileged location contribute to its relative anonymity. Louis XV first made Bandol fashionable by serving it at the royal table. de TerrebruneFood pairings: Provencal cuisine fixed with spices, garlic, rosemary, olives, tomatoes; grilled lamb and other richly flavored red meats.Where to find it: In the Bay Area—Kermit Lynch Wine Merchants, Paul Marcus Wines, K&L Wines, Vintage Berkeley; in Chicagoland—Binny’s Beverage Depot; Online--www.binnys.com, www.klwines.comPrice: $20-40. Anyone who has (rightly) foresworn pink wine after a scrape with California white zinfandel should give it a try. The white wines of Cassis and Bandol offer complexity and ideal pairings for the sea-influenced cuisine. The reds are ripe and lush enough to be enjoyed in youth but the best also have the capacity for long ageing. This vintage is another winner. It is often considered to be one of the best red wines in Provence which produces strong and robust wines with very long ageing potential. A blend composed predominantly of the sturdy Mourvèdre (the main grape variety of this coastal part of Provence – black, thick-skinned and prone to tarter dark berry flavours), along with the more supple Grenache and Cinsault, the flavour, though delicate, is anything but simple. Summertime is finally about here. On the palate, this is light and crisp. Domaine Tempier's Bandol rose is a contender for the world's best. Hint: They all begin with the letter “B.”If you have a basic knowledge of the world of wine, you’ll quickly come up with the first two answers: Bordeaux and Burgundy, the most famous of French appellations and perhaps the best known wine regions on earth. One thing that distinguishes … The fifth noble wine poses a greater challenge—one that may well stump even the savviest among us. But not just any rosé. Bandol winemakers are committed to producing wines of the highest quality. Exceptional Rosé is made all over the … For both the red and rosé wines, Mourvèdre must account for at least 50% of the blend, though most producers will use significantly more, with Grenache & Cinsaut usually filling out the rest of the wine’s composition. Location: Provence, France (between Marseille and Toulon)Size: 1,500 hectares (≈3,750 acres) of vineyardsProduction: 60,000 cases per vintagePrinciple grapes: mourvèdre (at least 51% in reds), cinsault, grenacheRecommended vintages: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005 (rosés)Recommended winemakers: Dom. Don’t be fooled by appearances. There is a mandatory aging of 18 months in oak and many find the wines similar to those of Bandol. Visiting wine country? Bone dry, you get fiendishly delicate flavours and acidity that, whilst certainly there, is balanced to perfection so that you barely notice it. A rich wine full of ripe raspberry … Visiting wine country? de la Rouvière, Dom. Arguably the best Rose made today. Buy a Priority Wine Pass today to receive Complimentary and discounted tastings. Sometimes, it is because these wines are very rare. By contrast, the anonymity that cloaks Bandol can be chalked up to nothing but neglect, since its quality and pedigree far outstrip its neighbors and, when in true form, approach that of its Bordelais and Burgundian countrymen. Pradeaux, Dom. Finlayson uses wild fermentation, meaning that the yeast used to convert the grapes’ natural sugars into alcohol are native to the environment that the fruit itself is grown in, rather than cultured artificially. The hilly region enjoys over 3,000 hours of sun per year, and the vineyards from which its red wine draws its grapes almost always face the sunny south. Domaine Tempier is the best-known producer but there is a remarkably high general standard among Bandol producers including Domaine de la Bégude, Châteaux La Rouvière, Pibarnon, Pradeaux, Domaine la Tour du Bon and Château Vannières. The first addition to Bollinger’s permanent line in 12 years, this is a sparkling rosé wine made solely from Pinot Noir grapes (one of the three varieties typically combined to make Champagnes – the others are Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier) mainly from the village of Verzenay and harvested in 2015 – hence the name. Bruno Paillard’s Première Cuvée Rosé Champagne. Whenever popping the cork of a young Bandol, be sure to let it decant an hour or two before serving. - Wine & Spirits Magazine (Year's Best Provençal Wines, August 2019), 90 pts. “It’s forbidden to open this wine before 2016,” he told me. Ample sun and scarce rain (which, when it does fall, is blown away by the infamous Mistral winds, thereby preventing rot) gives the late-maturing mourvèdre the time it needs to ripen. Comments? Here is a list of 75 wines from France that make up that category. Winemaker Peter-Allan Finlayson has both pedigree and form, coming from a family of winemakers and continually championing the fruitful soils where he tends vines for both the Crystallum and Gabrielskloof wine labels, all a few hours south of Cape Town and on or near the coast. But premium rosé is changing the category, offering complex styles derived from intriguing grape blends, barrel ageing and – in the case of Clos Cibonne’s Cuvée Spéciale des Vignettes – vinification under a layer of flor. The day was warm with great breezes coming in off the sea. We suggest trying it with white fish in a beurre blanc or even with some chorizo. Here Ken Gargett takes a look at a couple of the very best rosés made anywhere on the planet. But it’s worth remembering that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s wines, from Château Miravel in Provence, are actually rather good. A visit to a Bandol winery is a pleasant surprise, especially for those of us used to being herded through costly, impersonal tastings at Napa Valley conglomerates. Now whilst this isn’t strictly a rosé wine, I … Nor does the history of Bandol explain the region’s obscurity. From gently-hued Provençal-style rosés to accompany salads and lighter dishes, to brighter and spicier examples robust enough to stand up to richer, more flavourful foods, there is a rosé for every occasion. There are many famous wine regions within Provence, but none make better wines than Bandol. Not only known as the birthplace of cricket (yes, indeed) Hambledon is also home of some outstanding sparkling wines. When my fellow Americans tell me they hate rosés (as they almost always do), I ask them if they’ve ever tried a French rosé. Challenge: Name what some have termed the five “noble wines” of France and Italy—those special regions whose depth, expression, tradition, and class have historically set the gold standard for distinguished wines and up-and-comers alike. Sometimes it’s because the wine is just that good. The Domaine also makes a stunning red and white wine, but the region is known for rosé—a fact reflected in this world-class example. Whether through Mayle’s vivid pen or Cezanne’s vibrant brush, Southern France reveals herself as sun-soaked but sea-cool, floral but arid, glamorous but simple—a generous enigma. Hecht & Bannier 2019 Rosé (Côtes de Provence); $20, 90 points. The Wine and Cheese Place, 457 N. New Ballas Road, Creve Coeur, 314.989.0020 Provence lies in the south east corner of France. Domaine Tempier Bandol Rose 2016 . The flavors of Rosé wines can vary from dry to sweet, depending on the grape used to make the wine. If you had your pick of noble wine at a fraction of the price of Burgundy, Barolo or Brunello, you’d keep it quiet too. In Bandol especially, the rosés are the top wines, more sought-after than either the whites or reds (as good as they both are). This is a longer version of an article also published by the Financial Times.. See Domaine Tempier, new and (very) old for full tasting notes. Domaine Tempier, Bandol, €24 a bottle Saving the best to last Domaine Tempier is the reference Domaine for Bandol and its rosé is unsurprisingly one of the best in the world. But mourvèdre plays a starring role in Bandol, whose microclimate uniquely develops the intensity and layering of the grape like no other region. His wife encourages you to sample la gamme—the Domaine’s entire range of cuvées--and eagerly awaits your reaction to each. With an average price of $7, Mateus is easily the most inexpensive wine on this list. Bandol Rose A salmon pink and copper color. Pibarnon makes only three wines: a rosé (50 percent Mourvèdre and 50 percent Cinsault), a white (50 percent Clairette and 30 percent Bourboulenc) and a red (up to 95 percent Mourvèdre). Both are from Provence, more specifically Ott is from Côtes de Provence and Pibarnon from Bandol. ), Bandol Wines: Great Red Wines from Provence, Rosé du Loire? At a terrific little wine shop in Aix-en-Provence I purchased a bottle of 2001 Chateau Pradeaux, one of the better winemakers in Bandol. This isn’t true for every Bandol, but nonetheless it’s worth making an effort to serve it before four or (even better) after six years of aging, if possible. Suggested Wine Pairings for over 100 foods. It’s hot. The Bandol appellation produces a high proportion of rose wines (64%), and a small proportion of white wines (up to 5%). Contact me at [email protected]. This is the Provence of Bandol, a structured, sometimes ferocious, age-worthy red wine that is the antithesis of ephemeral rosé. “A relative newcomer to the Bandol rosé scene, Bastide de la Ciselette is a classic Bandol rosé in style with herbaceous notes and fresh tart red fruit.” Tempier Bandol Rosé… And here, like most places suffering under the unrelenting rays of our nearest star, rosé is king. All are usually of very good to outstanding quality, and are some of Bandol… With only 20,000 bottles available of this first edition of a top-secret five-year project, you’ll have to be quick (and feeling somewhat flush) to get your hands on one. There were beautiful people and incredible cars going by. The wine itself (Chateau Rasque Rosé) was technically average, but on that occasion it was perfect. Pretend it’s still sunny with these all-year-round rosés. Bandol’s lack of renown can’t be explained by its size. I mean, have you even been on a rooftop bar if you haven’t also supped on Whispering Angel at the same time? With all of the deserved hubbub over Bandol red wines, it’d be easy (but unforgivable) to forget that the region also produces rosé wines of great distinction. A few caveats. By some accounts (and in this humble reviewer’s opinion), Bandol rosés are the best in the world, bar none. Survey the bottles of blush pinch-hitting for rouge in wine enthusiasts’ lineups these days, and you’ll find a predominance of wine from. After all, if the opportunity presents itself, go for it. The name Bandol is recognised by the decree of 11 November 1941. In my. Completely dry with measured acidity, it tastes of raspberries with a hint of dried fruit (apricots, in particular) and fresh lemon on the finish. Indeed, Bandol is the only appellation in the world that requires all of its reds to be made of at least 51% mourvèdre, and some of Bandol’s finest offerings are closer to 90 or 95%. And here are some of our favourites, both still and sparkling. Strawberry, watermelon, citrus and white pepper flavors leap out of this glass. The balance of the blend is rounded out by cinsault (for finesse of texture) and grenache (for generosity of flavor). Rosé is arguably the most well known type of wine from Provence, but the red wines, particularly from Bandol, possess a great depth of character and ability to age. The warm (often hot) Mediterranean climate creates an ideal ecological environment for Bandol’s roi cépage (“king grape”), mourvèdre. [I should note that Bandol produces a small amount of white wine made primarily from clairette, bourboulenc, ugni blanc and a few other French grapes no one’s ever heard of. Bandol rosés are at the top of the rosé hierarchy. Certainly, it is right up there with a rich track record. But for every cutesy rosé “brand” out there, there are also producers who stress that their rosé is designed from the outset to be a rosé—as opposed to being a pink by-product of red wine production. Lavender fields, Roman ruins, and olive trees loom large in classic descriptions of Provence’s iconic landscape, but strangely missing from such sketches is much mention of one of the region’s oldest industries—wine. The most enjoyable bottle of wine I ever had (not necessarily the best) was at an outdoor sidewalk café called La Piazza in Cannes France. Did you know that rosé makes for more than half of Provence’s wine production? The Bay Area is experiencing an unseasonable hot spell. Save up to $150 in tastings per Day! The nose is very pretty with watermelon along with a slight strawberry and a steely quality. These wines are harder to find and, in my view, less worth seeking than Bandol rouge and rosé.]. One might forgive the lack of attention given to Provencal appellations with less gravitas, such as Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, Palette, Côtes de Provence and Bellet (though these regions merit a good bit more attention that they generally get, for reasons I hope to address in future columns). We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article. But back to red. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io, These Are The Best Fragrance Gift Sets For Him, What The Esquire Editors Are Wearing This Week, Esquire Editors' Best Grooming Products On Earth, The Smartest Gadgets A Man Can Buy In 2020, The 13 Best Tag Heuer Watches A Man Can Buy 2020, Berry Bros & Rudd Sparkling Rosé by Hambledon, NV, Berry Bros & Rudd Sparkling Rosé by Hambledon, ESQUIRE, PART OF THE HEARST UK FASHION & BEAUTY NETWORK. "This is a compact, tightly built Bandol rosé, crisp acidity delineating its tart strawberry fruit. While the rosé of Bandol is fantastic, Braun is especially drawn to the region’s reds. Made by a château dating back to the 13th century, not far from the Bordeaux region of France, this rosé is a lesson in refinement. Go To Mas Redonne Bandol Rose Mourvedre / Cinsault. By some accounts (and in this humble reviewer’s opinion), Bandol rosés are the best in the world, bar none. Having tasted Bandol, I can hardly blame them. Other times, it’s because the wine has a place in history. Dining in Bandol, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur: See 19,693 Tripadvisor traveller reviews of 105 Bandol restaurants and search by cuisine, price, location, and more. $28. Goes nicely with soft cheeses like Brie, which take the edge off and bring out the fruitier elements. This column, which runs monthly, explores the lesser known wine regions of France. 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