Bandol Wine

Bandol Wine

Thirty years ago your loyal correspondent worked through a harvest and the subsequent winemaking at the wonderful Domaine Bunan in Bandol. At that point in time, red, white and rosé wine were all produced but it was red that dominated production and was what the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée was best known for. Today, red wine accounts for just 22% of Bandol's vinous output with rosé leading the field with a whopping 73% of production and white wine accounting for just 5%. The reasons for this sea change are complicated but one factor is that the red wines have to be aged in barrel or vat for a minimum of 18 months before bottling. Rosé can be released without this obligatory ageing so, as long as it can command a similar price, it is far better for cash flow. Technological improvements also mean that rosé winemaking is much better than it once was and tastes have moved in that direction. Moreover, a ready local market of bars and bistros with outdoor terraces packed with thirsty tourists make rosé an obvious winner.

The Bunan family's Bandol blanc is made from pure Clairette that is vinified in temperature-controlled vats and bottled on its youthful fruit in the spring. It has a golden straw colour, appealing wildflower and citrus aromas and a zesty stone-fruit palate with an elegant, dry finish. It makes an uplifting aperitif or partner to seafood.

Their pretty, coral-pink rosé is made from a traditional blend of Mourvèdre, Cinsault and Grenache Noir that are grown organically and harvested by hand. The finished wine has a wealth of red berry scents and flavours offset by fresh acidity. It has a wonderful affinity for lobster and crab and enjoys diverse export markets.

Completing the triumvirate is a redoubtable red vinified from Mourvèdre with lesser quantities of Grenache and Syrah. It has a briary bouquet of blackberries and blackcurrants followed by a full-bodied palate of dark fruit, game and spices underpinned by tannins that will support 5 to 10+ years bottle age. It pairs well with classic Provençale dishes such as a leg of lamb studded with rosemary and garlic.

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  1. Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Rouge 2018
    Bottle
    £22.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £270.00
    Half Bottle
    £13.25
    Half Bottle (Case)
    £318.00
  2. Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Blanc 2020
    Bottle
    £21.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £258.00
  3. Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Rosé 2020
    Bottle
    £21.50
    Bottle (Case)
    £258.00
    Magnum
    £55.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £330.00
  4. Bandol: Mas de la Rouvière Rouge 2017
    Magnum
    £59.00
    Magnum (Case)
    £354.00
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