From: Bandol, France
Varietals: 80% Mourvedre, 20% Cinsault
Tasting Notes: This is not a frivolous wine. Powerfully structured and vibrant. Lush, red berry flavors, stone fruit, orange zest, and a fragrant spice & dried herb bouquet that incorporates hints of lavender, rosemary, and thyme with a subtle hint of white pepper.
Pairing: Because Bandol roses are so impressive, age-worthy, and right on the Mediterranean, they're capable of pairing with a wide array of flavors. Classic Provencal cuisine, anything from the sea, and of course, dishes that play with layers of Mediterranean spice are marvelous dinner companions. So, we're sharing a recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine with Butternut Squash by Sarah Digregorio for a home-run pairing.
Critical Acclaim: "Not bottled yet at the time of my spring visit to the region, the 2021 Bandol Rose nevertheless showed exceptional promise in my blind tasting. A blend of 80% Mourvèdre and 20% Cinsault, it's a coppery flamingo-pink in color, with more extraction and tannin than your typical Bandol rosé. It's round and ripe on the palate, medium to full-bodied, with cherry and lime notes and a long, softly dusty finish... (JC)" –Robert Parker's Wine Advocate, 91-93 points (August 2022)
From Rosenthal Wine Merchant: “There is the appellation of Bandol with its plethora of producers, some good, some mediocre; and then there is Château Pradeaux, the unique, inimitable, standard-bearer for this ancient wine-growing district. The Château Pradeaux is situated on the outskirts of the town of Saint Cyr-sur-Mer that lies directly on the Mediterranean Ocean between Toulon and Marseilles. The estate has been in the hands of the Portalis family since before the French Revolution. In fact, Jean-Marie-Etienne Portalis, who inherited the estate in 1752, helped draft the Napoleonic Code and assisted at the negotiation of the Concordat under Napoleon the First. The estate was devastated during the French Revolution and suffered the effects of the phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century. Suzanne Portalis and her daughter, Arlette, retreated to the domaine during World War II and undertook to revive the domaine. The domaine is currently under the direction of Cyrille Portalis, the sole direct descendant of Suzanne and Arlette. He continues to maintain the great traditions of this estate and is assisted by his wife, Magali, and now his two sons, Etienne and Edouard.
The vineyards are cultivated in as natural a manner as possible with reliance on organic methods. In fact, for many years during the spring months sheep grazed in the vineyards thereby eliminating any need to use herbicides and at the same time providing a natural compost. The wines of Pradeaux are brooding and difficult. Produced on the back of the noble Mourvèdre, Pradeaux in its youthful stages is tannic, backward and sometimes ornery. The wines are not destemmed; élevage in large oak foudres can last as long as four years; vines of less than 25 years of age are not used for the reds.
Although the major part of Château Pradeaux’s vineyards are planted to Mourvèdre, their Bandol Rosé is composed of Mourvèdre as well as Cinsault. The younger vines of the domaine (average age: 25 years) are utilized to produce a rare rosé with staying power and exceptional complexity. After a short maceration on the skins, in order to extract a light color, the juice is fermented at low temperatures to retain freshness, fruit and bouquet. After being aged in cement cuves, the wine is normally bottled in late spring of the year following the harvest. It is one of the richest of the rosés of France, dry but full-bodied with a floral bouquet.”
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