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MWG May 15th tasting (2/6): A trio of Bandol rosés

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The rosé situation at the SAQ has vastly improved in recent years. For the longest time, you couldn’t find a single Bandol rosé at the monopoly. Currently it stocks six. We tasted three of the most interesting.

Bandol rosé 2012, Château de Pibarnon ($31.50, 10275091)
Mourvèdre (85%) and Cinsault (35%). Manually harvested. Part of the Mourvèdre is bled from the red wine vats and part is directly pressed. All the Cinsault is directly pressed. The juices are blended before fermentation, which is long (25 to 30 days) and takes place in temperature-controlled (22°C) stainless steel tanks. Matured in stainless steel tanks for six months. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Réserve & Sélection.
Complex and evolving nose: nectarine and garrigue, hints of fennel seed, background earth. Rich bordering on fleshy but also balanced and well delineated. Crunchy minerals and acidity structure the ripe if very dry fruit, while bitter and spicy notes add savour. A faint, almost tannic astringency marks the long finish. Impressive. Needs a year or two to come together but there’s absolutely no doubt it will. (Buy again? Definitely.)

Bandol rosé 2013, Domaine du Gros’Noré ($30.75, 11416837)
Mourvèdre (50%), Cinsault (35%) and Grenache (15%) from vines averaging 30 years old. The grapes are directly pressed, with 40% given a light maceration. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Lovely if subdued nose of dusty strawberry, chalky minerals and raw sugar. Clean, refreshing and balanced, the fruit (red berries, cherry and finally apricot) and minerals lifted by acidity and coloured by herbes de Provence and faint spice. Long finish. This elegant wine is accessible now but may be even better in 12 months. (Buy again? Yes.)

Bandol rosé 2012, Domaine de Souviou ($24.50, 12200798)
Mourvèdre (40%), Cinsault (35%) and Grenache (25%). The grapes are manually harvested and sorted, then chilled to 14°C, lightly crushed and directly pressed. After cold settling, the juice is fermented in temperature-controlled (18°C) stainless steel tanks for 15 days. Malolactic fermentation is blocked and the wine is matured in staineless steel tanks. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Robert Peides.
By far the palest of the three and not just in colour. Reticent nose, mainly minerals with a hint of peach. The fruit (stone fruit, grapefruit) is light, the minerals rainwatery and the finish clean, with a lingering savoury tingle that may be due to acidity as much as carbon dioxide. Actually, quite white wine-like – not that there’s anything wrong with that. (Buy again? Sure.)

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Written by carswell

June 6, 2014 at 15:19

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

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