Open Mike: Bandol.

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Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:34 am

Otto and I thought it would be tempting to see how the red Mourvedre from Bunan is coming along!! Here is a wine producing area with a lot of history with wines that can last for more than a decade. Naturally forumites can taste a wine from other vigneronnes that they may have in the cellar.

Here are a couple of factual websites..........!!

http://www.thewinedoctor.com/provence/bunan.shtml
http://maisondesvins.free.fr/historiqueGB.php?lang=gb

So hopefully we will see some of you here, maybe a commentary from Bill who is a big Bandol fan!!!
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Ross » Thu Sep 28, 2006 9:59 am

Neat idea, Bob. Here are some Bandol notes from the past; I'll crack a couple later this week and post my newer notes.

8/26/97 1993 La Bastide Blanche Bandol Non Filtre Var Provence France. Carlo Russo. Strong recommendation of clerk. Deep red color; strong fruit aroma with earthen overtones; good fruit taste with mild tannins and a long, complex finish; different and interesting tastes of herbs. 4* [We were off to the Midi, and I was doing some vinous homework.]

A note from Parker introduced me to an almost Bandol wine that I love and Janet detests: Luc Sorin is one of southern France's hottest winemakers. His 28-acre vineyard is located along the Bandol border (part of its acreage is actually within Bandol), but in spite of enjoying all the benefits of the sun-drenched Bandol micro-climate, he is entitled only to the Côtes du Provence appellation. This is an estate to check out before the prices soar, as these are exceptionally high quality wines. Purchased at Bertelli on Provence search. Pretty label with a walking sun. 1994 Domaine Sorin Côtes de Provence: P90. The 1994 Côtes du Provence rouge is a spectacular bargain. Made from 40% Mourvèdre, 30% Syrah, and 30% old vine Grenache and Carignane, this opaque purple-colored wine possesses a huge, smoky, spicy, blackcurrant and cassis-scented nose. Closer scrutiny brings whiffs of Provencal herbs. Rich and full-bodied, with superb purity, ripeness, and a layered feel on the palate, this is a knock-out, rich, dry red wine that should drink well for 5-7 years, perhaps longer. Given its price, this is a wine to buy by the case. Janet: "I hate these wines." Good red color; good aroma of earth, herbs and fruit; strong taste of earth, herbs and some fruit with noticeable tannin; full mouth feel; ten to fifteen second finish. 4*.

9/6/97 1986 Domaine Tempier Bandol Provence France. Purchased in Clinton; said to be a prototypical Provencal wine by a Master of Wine: earthy, leather, wood and barn yard – rustic. Tannins said to become much softer with time. $20. Janet: "Ugh!" Deep red color; aroma of earth, leather, fruit; taste of fruit, leather and barn yard; ten to fifteen second finish. 4*.

9/8/97 1982 Château [Domaine] de Pibarnon Bandol Provence France. Dockside in Marseilles. Janet: delicious! Deep red color; excellent fruit aroma; excellent fruit, leather and spice taste; medium mouth feel; twenty to thirty second mouth feel. 5*.

1996 Domaine Chiroulet Moelleux Moscato Passito Di Paneleria Larroque sur Losse Cotes de Gascogne Southwest France. Clean and pleasant dessert white wine, especially good with chocolate. 3*.

We ate at Miramar Restaurant at 12, Quai du Port. Fages Xavier was our waiter; he came from Bandol: We took the label from the wine bottle; the label called it Domaine de Pibarnon; the small strip around the neck called it Château de Pibarnon. “Domaine is a mistake; it is Château Pibarnon. I buy some every year; it is better than Tempier.” Parker agrees on both counts. Xavier said he was of Basque heritage and very lucky to live in Bandol; his brother makes cross sectioned boat models, and may contact us. We had fish soufflé, sea bass, fruit and chocolate, all of it excellent. Xavier rates the Bandols:

Château Pradeaux: the best, since 1625 A.D.
Château Pibarnon: owner, Count St. Victor
Domaine Tempier: ask for Mr. Peyraud, a friend of Mr. Xavier.

9/10/97 We stayed at the Hotel Gray d’Albion in Cannes.

1975 Château Vannierres Bandol La Cadière d’Azur Var Provence France. Dinner at Royal Gray, Hotel Gray d’Albion, Cannes of sea bass and monk fish – delicious. Janet liked the wine and talked me up one star. Deep red color, excellent fruit aroma; good fruit taste with a bit of earth and light tannins; ten to fifteen second finish. 4*.

After the trip my diary contains 39 additional tasting notes for Bandol, and my cellar 42 bottles, primarily Pradeaux, many from 1989 and 1999. One of my personal favorites.

Thanks for kicking off this Open Mike, Bob and Otto.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Otto » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:21 am

BobP, thanks for starting the thread! I'll be opening the 2000 maybe already tomorrow.

BobR, wow. I'm jealous. The number of older Bandols I've tried can be counted with one ..... finger!!! And that was a rosé from, IIRC, 1982 ... well, 80's anyway. Yummy. Otherwise I've only tasted 10YO examples and those still showed so much promiese for the future that it was a pity we opened them delicious though they were. Lovely notes as always, thanks!

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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Sep 28, 2006 10:22 am

Thanks for such quick interest Bob...am just out of the door but will look up some whites I have tasted. My love for S France (whites) has no boundaries as you know but looking forward to cracking the `99 Bunan Rouge.

Some terrific tasting notes there, who else has something similar?
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby keith prothero » Thu Sep 28, 2006 12:01 pm

Well I am going to a Bandol tasting in a couple of weeks and hopefully Jamie Goode will be there plus a SA winemaker,who has spent quite sometime in the Bandol region.
Will post notes in due course.
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Thu Sep 28, 2006 7:04 pm

keith prothero wrote:Well I am going to a Bandol tasting in a couple of weeks and hopefully Jamie Goode will be there plus a SA winemaker,who has spent quite sometime in the Bandol region.
Will post notes in due course.


Thanks Keith, Jamie has a soft spot for Bandol I think!! I know I speak for many here, it is great to have you pop in from time to time, Keith.
We do not get to talk too much Pinotage on this forum, maybe down south it is not widely available or...just not popular!! What is available on the shelves here in Alberta is not recognizable by many punters. How to change that...??
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Mark Lipton » Fri Sep 29, 2006 1:41 pm

Some recent notes of '99 Bandols:
(3/21/06) Ch. St. Anne Cuvée Collection

Consumed last night with grilled elk steaks (a Hugh Johnson recommended pairing - dead on)

nose: brambly blackberry and a slight meatiness
palate: big, loads of berry fruit, lightly tannic with good structure and a noticeable meaty character, long finish

This 98% Mourvedre cuvée from the Dutheil sisters was purchased ex-domaine while visiting there. Still young and somewhat tight, it really benefitted from the pairing with the elk, which brought out the fruity elements and rounded out the wine nicely. A really good wine and a good food match, there is no hurry to drink this puppy as it'll easily go another 5-10 years.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

(9/6/06) 1999 Dom. du Gros Noré Bandol

nose: very aromatic esters, tar, deep, plummy fruit
palate: smooth as silk, full bodied, rich, deeply fruited, tar, spices, pine resin

This bottle was hand-carried back from the domaine. It has perhaps aged faster than the ones I've purchased here in Indiana, as Kermit Lynch has better temperature control than my Peugot had. Nontheless, this wine was á point tonight. In its honor, we attempted to recreate the phenomenal tomato tasting that we attended after visiting this domaine: green zebras, a black non-Krim and a pink German, all with mozzarella di bufala della Campania and some fresh basil. The winner of the tasting was the green zebra by unanimous acclaim for its vibrant acidity and great tang. The wine was phenomenal, too, reminding us of nothing so much as a top-quality Amador County Zinfandel.

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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Otto » Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:16 pm

Bunan 2000: Corked. What a shame. :( I'll return it tomorrow and try with better luck. Now to open a Nero d'Avola - new territory to me! :)
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:20 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:Now to open a Nero d'Avola - new territory to me! :)


Be afraid ... be very afraid ... it is a rare thing to find a Nero d'Avola that's not spoofulated. Think blueberry milkshake ...
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:24 pm

WTN: 1990 Pradeaux Bandol Provence France.

I really can't do better than this note by the esteemed Tony Fletcher; here's Tony's website.

Janet hated the wine last night -- she has a love/hate relationship with Bandol wines -- but I loved the long finish and the shy tastes of fruit, well evolved tannins, earth and chocolate and coffee and mushrooms notes. Worked beautifully with steamed vegetables and even better trying to stay ahead of TIVO. A wine to savor. 4*.

Tony's notes: Château Pradeaux Bandol is NOT a wine of which we discuss fruit. This is an inky black brew that offers aromas from the forest floor – earthy, tree bark, wild mushrooms - and the taste of wild animal: all leather, body, bones and blood. Oddly enough, this complements perfectly the vegetarian foods of the Provencal kitchen, a contradiction perhaps explained by the wine's extra ingredient: its cornucopia of herbal aromas and flavors that are part of the Provencal landscape. And yet this particular Bandol needs additional time to settle down; even importer Neal Rosenthal's web site admits that "Pradeaux in its youthful stages is tannic, backward, and sometimes ornery." For anyone unused to such ferocity, I'd recommend the La Suffrene as an introduction to Bandol's considerably powerful charms.

Notes: K&L There is the appellation of Bandol with its plethora of producers, some good, some mediocre, and then there is Chateau Pradeaux, the unique and inimitable standard-bearer for this ancient wine-growing district. The chateaux is situated on the outskirts of the town of St. Cyr Mer which lies directly on the Mediterranean Sea between Toulon and Marseilles. The estate is owned by the Portalis family, who has owned the the property since the 18th century. The domaine is currently under the direction of Cyrille Portalis, who continues to maintain the great traditions of this estate. The 2000 Chateaux Pradeaux Bandol Rouge is dense and rich with notes of garrigue, smoked meat and black olive. Deep notes of black currants and plum impart balance and roundness to the wine, which finishes with a dusty sweetness. Best from 2006-2010.

K&L Varietal: Mourvedre - A native of Spain (where it is known as Monsatrell) this grape is the second leading red grape variety after Grenache in Spain. It is also popular in southern France and growing in California. This grape grows well in warmer regions, and is often high in alcohol and tannins making it a good blending grape.

Madrose: The vineyards are cultivated in as natural a manner as possible with reliance on organic methods. In fact, during the spring months sheep are permitted to graze in the vineyards thereby eliminating any need to use herbicides and at the same time providing a natural compost. The wines of Pradeaux are brooding and difficult. Produced on the back of the noble Mourvedre, Pradeaux in its youthful stages is tannic, backward, and sometimes ornery. The wines are not destemmed; "elevage" in large oak foudres can last as long as four years; the essential blend is at least 95% Mourvedre; vines of less than 25 years of age are not used for the reds.

Regards, Bob
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Mark Lipton » Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:21 pm

Bob Ross wrote:Notes: K&L There is the appellation of Bandol with its plethora of producers, some good, some mediocre, and then there is Chateau Pradeaux, the unique and inimitable standard-bearer for this ancient wine-growing district.


Hmm...Whatever else one might think about Pradeaux, I wouldn't have thought of it as the standard bearer for the region, at least not in the US. That mantle IMO would lie with Tempier.

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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Agostino Berti » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:17 pm

Chateau de Pibarnon - Bandol - 2001 - 14% Alc.

Bought this at Charles de Gaulle Airport - can't remember how much I paid, maybe 25-30 Euros. Prices there tend to be high, but this was on sale.

Nose of slight mustiness, clay, black olives - somewhat restrained.
Beautiful color - quite dark, but not too much.
Good mouth, relatively elegant, good fruit, good acid-tannic structure.
Wish I had cellared this 5 years since its my only bottle, though I don't trust airport purchases, which is why I opened it.
Beautiful long cork gives the impression the winery thinks its a long ager.
Pretty good drink, probably meant to age more. Wish I had a case to trace its evolution.

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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:45 pm

Goodness gracious, what a turnout for this Open Mike. Great idea there Otto...wooops see your bottle was corked!! My `99 ready to go but very busy at the Grills this weekend. Will open and let breathe, probably double decant too.
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:11 pm

Interesting, Mark. Our waiter in Marseille thought that was true, and a few years ago Parker took that position (not that that determines the matter, of course).

From my diary at the time I bought the 2000 edition:

Parker: Five Stars. One of the most idiosyncratic winemaking estates in Europe! When this estate does everything right it produces the most profoundly complex wines of Bandol. Although inconsistency has been an annoying problem, since the mid-eighties the quality has been exhilarating. I have long been a believer in the wines of Bandol, and these bottlings from Chateau Pradeaux, from unquestionably great vintages, make a persuasive case for this appellation. … Made from 100% Mourvèdre from old vines, Bandol is generally super-intense, rich, powerful, tannic, hugely-structured, and capable of lasting 20-25 years. Although the wine from this property can be a hit or miss proposition, recent releases from the eighties have been more consistent than in the seventies. Chateau Pradeaux and its proprietor Cyrille Portalis are the Bandolian equivalent of Châteauneuf du Pape's Henri Bonneau and Jacques Reynaud - eccentric, idiosyncratic, at times reclusive, yet capable of making the greatest wines of the appellation.
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Ross » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:18 pm

Apropos of nothing, but still one of my favorite tasting notes:

Roses stuffed up a goat’s ass.

Fran Kysela on Bandol, quoted by Jason Brandt Lewis on WLDG, March 28, 1999
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Dave Moritz » Fri Sep 29, 2006 9:32 pm

Agostino:
Nice tasting note on the 2001 Ch. Pibarnon! I too had tried this about a year ago out of a 375 ml bottle. I found it to be an exceptional wine, so much so that I went out and bought three full bottles at $30 each. I recall it being a wine very large in both stature and complexity. And yes, another five years would be needed for all of its flavors and nuances to integrate. Cheers.
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Mark Lipton » Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:06 am

Bob Ross wrote:Interesting, Mark. Our waiter in Marseille thought that was true, and a few years ago Parker took that position (not that that determines the matter, of course).

From my diary at the time I bought the 2000 edition:

Parker: Five Stars. One of the most idiosyncratic winemaking estates in Europe! When this estate does everything right it produces the most profoundly complex wines of Bandol. Although inconsistency has been an annoying problem, since the mid-eighties the quality has been exhilarating. I have long been a believer in the wines of Bandol, and these bottlings from Chateau Pradeaux, from unquestionably great vintages, make a persuasive case for this appellation. … Made from 100% Mourvèdre from old vines, Bandol is generally super-intense, rich, powerful, tannic, hugely-structured, and capable of lasting 20-25 years. Although the wine from this property can be a hit or miss proposition, recent releases from the eighties have been more consistent than in the seventies. Chateau Pradeaux and its proprietor Cyrille Portalis are the Bandolian equivalent of Châteauneuf du Pape's Henri Bonneau and Jacques Reynaud - eccentric, idiosyncratic, at times reclusive, yet capable of making the greatest wines of the appellation.


Interesting indeed, Bob, and impossible to argue about. It's possible that I have been too much influenced by Kermit Lynch, having grown up in the shadow of his establishment, having read his books and drunk his wines. Nevertheless, if I have the story straight it was Lucien Peyraud at Tempier who basically invented the Bandol AOC. Not that that guarantees one primacy in the appellation (just look at Ch. Fortia in CNdP) Regardless, I have had some monumental wines from Tempier, both rouge and rosé. IIRC, Parker has called Tempier's rosé the finest in the world, but I could be mistaken about that too.

Cheers!
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:36 am

WTN: `99 Bandol Moulin des Costes---Bunan.

The story of Bunan was posted compliments of Chris kissick, the wine doctor, by me yesterday. Pulled from the cellar and opened 6 hours, not decanted yet. 13.5%, long cork, 75% Mourvedre plus Cinsault, Syrah and Grenache.
Busy busy day so my impressions are a bit brief, but things will improve tomorrow I guess.

Colour. Orange on rim, light centre, some reddish tones. I am quite surprised at the developed colour, very light in my opinion.

Nose. Chocolate, tobacco, garrique, hint of horse box! Could be mistaken for a claret. Could change overnight.

Palate. Drinking very well which is a surprise. Dry, not too tannic. Plum, pepper, savoury, earthy. Has a complex meaty finish, medium weight overall. No metallic edge like I found in a `98 from same winery. Does not appear to be too much going on here but I am having a hard time concentrating.

Sounds like the Tempier, Pibarnon and Pradeaux could have more complexity. Maybe it`s the vintage?

Cost was $27.00 Cdn
Food, braised chicken supremes.
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Otto » Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:39 pm

I uncorked an uncorked bottle this time! :) Following Bob's format:

WTN: '00 Bandol Moulin des Costes---Bunan.

Colour. Moderately deep red, no real signs of age.

Nose. Unlike Bob's, this in no way could be taken for Bordeaux. There is a juicy and vegetal Southfranceyness to the wine which is mixed with a hefty dose of earth and very sweet red berries (I guess the year was as warm here as everywhere else in France....), but surprisingly little of the Mourvèdre-funk. There is a vegetal streak in it that I find lovely - if anything this and the strong minerality coupled with the earthiness reminds me a bit of Burgundy! But I flatter myself by saying I would probably have gone to the S. of France if given blind.

Palate. Very juicy, full of warm fruit which is red toned. It has noticable tannins and fair acidity which to me are however a little swamped by very ripe fruit - which makes this approachable at such a young age. The wine lingers in the mouth for long. Really nice! Bandol rocks!! I think this wine in a little bit cooler year would be something I'd buy cases of.

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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Mark Lipton » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:13 pm

Otto Nieminen wrote:Palate. Very juicy, full of warm fruit which is red toned. It has noticable tannins and fair acidity which to me are however a little swamped by very ripe fruit - which makes this approachable at such a young age. The wine lingers in the mouth for long. Really nice! Bandol rocks!! I think this wine in a little bit cooler year would be something I'd buy cases of.

-O-


It does sound nice, Otto, but -- given the recent trend -- you may have to wait a millenium or so for a cooler year :x

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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Rahsaan » Sat Sep 30, 2006 2:23 pm

IIRC, Parker has called Tempier's rosé the finest in the world


So now suddenly Parker is an authority worth referencing? :)

My understanding of Bandol is very limited, but somehow I assumed that Tempier were the people who first made the push towards getting Bandol appreciated outside the region/country, much like Joguet in Chinon, but that now many others (especially Pradeaux and Pibarnon) have caught up, so the distance is less great and there can be debates over which one is "superior". However, recent winemaking trends and specific terroir issues are beyond me. Although they are obviously highly relevant.
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:42 pm

Otto, great to see the `00 notes. There is cetainly a big difference `twit our two vintages....colour, nose, palate. I am going to taste the remaining 2/3 bottle later this evening.
Rahsaan, an interesting fact about this area of S France is the number of vigneronnes from N Africa. Have you ever visited this part of France in your travels?

***** I wonder about bottle variation from the smaller wineries??
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Lou Kessler » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:06 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
IIRC, Parker has called Tempier's rosé the finest in the world


So now suddenly Parker is an authority worth referencing? :)

My understanding of Bandol is very limited, but somehow I assumed that Tempier were the people who first made the push towards getting Bandol appreciated outside the region/country, much like Joguet in Chinon, but that now many others (especially Pradeaux and Pibarnon) have caught up, so the distance is less great and there can be debates over which one is "superior". However, recent winemaking trends and specific terroir issues are beyond me. Although they are obviously highly relevant.


That statement by Parker may be one of the few things he has said that many wine geeks could agree on.
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Re: Open Mike: Bandol.

Postby Rahsaan » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:18 pm

Rahsaan, an interesting fact about this area of S France is the number of vigneronnes from N Africa. Have you ever visited this part of France in your travels?


Yes, but no vineyard visits in Bandol, unfortunately.

So you mean actual Maghrebian Arab/Berber winemakers? Or relocated pieds noirs? I haven't seen many of the former, at least among the "famous" wineries..
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