2014 domaine du gros noré rosé and 2008 la bastide blanche ​ photo by jonathan gayman

Best of Bandol

The sun is strong, the nights are cool and the wine is everything in Bandol, a tiny fishing village on the coast of southern France. Late-ripening mourvèdre grapes grow best in this pocket of Provence on restangues or retaining walls, steep-terraced, south-facing amphitheaters with dry, pebbly soil, located oh-so-close to the Mediterranean Sea. Bandol is the only appellation that requires at least 50 percent dark, tannin-rich mourvèdre in reds and rosés; the rest of the blend usually includes grenache, cinsault and carignan. These wines can be as spicy as a syrah or as rich as a zinfandel. White Bandol wines – bright, crisp and with notes of white flower and orchard fruits – are produced in very limited quantities (Labels like Domaine Tempier or Pradeaux Blancs can be pricey but are well worth the hunt.).

This is the perfect time of year to get acquainted with vins de Bandol. They pair perfectly with grilled foods, and sipping Bandol rosé alfresco in the summer is a downright dreamy experience. These two picks represent an amazing value while staying true to the richness and beauty of this exclusive appellation.

2014 Domaine du Gros Noré Rosé
Rosés should be crisp, mineral and dry with complex flavors. Bandol rosés are at the top of the rosé hierarchy. Strawberry, watermelon, citrus and white pepper flavors leap out of this glass. Pair it with a niçoise salad.
$28. The Wine and Cheese Place, 457 N. New Ballas Road, Creve Coeur, 314.989.0020

2008 La Bastide Blanche 
Full of raspberries, cinnamon, pepper and flowers, this rich, structured and powerful wine pairs nicely with grilled meat, and its minerality balances with lighter fare such as a cheese and charcuterie platter.
$26. The Wine and Cheese Place, 14748 Clayton Road, Ballwin, 636.527.1144

Tags : Wine