July 16, 2019
Gros Nore Bandol Rose

GROS NORE Bandol Rose 2018

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%.
July 15, 2019
Gros Nore Bandol

GROS NORE Bandol 2016

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 […]
April 22, 2018
Pibarnon Bandol 2014

PIBARNON Bandol 2014

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.
April 22, 2018
Pibarnon Bandol Rose

Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rose 2017

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 […]