Orange and peach skin color. Smells and tastes “Trés Provence Rosé,” i.e. as much dried citrus and stone fruit flavors as berries + rocky, peppery, dry herbal, floral flavors. (Sooo Provence) Fuller, almost creamy texture may make you think this is too much for rose, but it’s just right. The fuller body drifts off, leaving the basket of fruits and savory flavors in the 15-20 second finish. While $30 is a lot for any Rose, the Gros Noré justifies the price. Made from 50% Mourvedre and Grenache & Cinsault making up the the other 50%.
The “capital of Mourvedre,” Bandol lies on the French Mediterranean. The consistently very warm sun and hillside vineyards make Mourvedre ripe and the wines dark and rich. The 2016 Gros Nore is an outlier…it is dark, strong and rich as expected of Bandol. Its relative softness and accessibility (i.e. delicious now) is out of the ordinary for this producer. I get chocolate covered cherries, pipe tobacco, tarragon, black olives and smoky beef jerky. Fine tannins aplenty and medium acidity tells me it will improve through 2025 at least. But hard to keep the lips off of it now! This is […]
Provence-style Rosé by recipe: 1/2 Mourvèdre, 1/2 Carignane. Grapes pressed off. Stylistically, it straddles France and California. Reddish hue, raspberry/strawberry smells and flavors along with some black pepper, mandarine orange and pink roses. Fermented dry to a modest 12.9% alcohol, making for a pretty, berry-laden Rosé with ample acidity and spice. This is a Rosé to enjoy when you want more fruitiness in your pink. Like me! AERENA Wines, one of the wines from Bespoke Collection, are made by the super-skilled and accomplished Aaron Pott. The Mourvèdre and Carignane comes from 135 year old vines in Oakley, Sacramento Delta. This […]
69% Mourvedre, 31% Syrah, from El Dorado County vineyards in the Sierra Foothills (1800-2800 feet elevation, granite & volcanic-heavy soils.) This has a fruity, ripe, juicy berry character, complemented by the two grapes’ natural spicy/earthy character. The spice: black pepper, anise, cinnamon stick. Earth comes across as black olive and forest floor. Medium bodied, soft tannins, medium acidity. This is ready to enjoy anytime and goes particularly well with pork and stronger fish dishes as well as dishes with mushrooms, olives and lots of herbs. Winegrowing notes from The Withers: The Withers In Hand was fermented with 30% whole clusters and […]
90% Mourvedre, 10% Grenache from Pibarnon’s Estate vineyard looking down on The Mediterranean. Deep, dark fruits go hand in hand with dark chocolate, smoked game and meat locker. Very structured and built to last – as good as it is now, I suspect this will shed its primary fruit and add layers of complexity in the future. 2025-2030 best drinking time, I’m guessing. Pibarnon is one of the great producers of Bandol, and this 2014 shows off their stellar reputation. 30-50 year old vines. Cement tank ferment, aged in large French oak barrels, small % new.
Venerable Bandol winery consistently produces a fleshy, serious Rosé from 2/3rd Mourvedre, 1/3rd Cinsault from terraced, 50 year old vines. The Provence Rosé peach skin/orange color is deeper than most, which leads you down the path of typically savory/spicy smells & flavors, but just more of them. Get dried cherry, peach, melon, tea, tobacco leaf and meat stock (just a hint). Cashmere texture…very pleasing. With all the quality $15-20 Rosé available, it takes a lot to call out a $40 bottling as a good buy. That said, this is from the Rosé capital of the world, and it’s a step […]