2019 Chateau Pradeaux, Bandol Rosé, Provence, France.
The beautifully balanced and dry 2019 Pradeaux Bandol Rosé (Cuvee Classic) is richly concentrated and has a serious palate impact showing layers of bright and tangy cherry, racy ruby grapefruit, blood orange and distilled strawberry fruits with loads of extract, delicate spices and a stylish rounded mouth feel, very impressive and definitely one of the vintage’s best examples of Bandol Rosé I’ve tried, along with the Clos Cibonne Cotes de Provence Rosé. Pradeaux’s winemaker Etienne Portalis has really raised the quality of Chateau Pradeaux, which has been a top estate in Bandol since 1752, to the next level in recent years and is one of region’s best talents, making profound wines throughout his lineup, especially his late release, extended aged Bandol Rouge, crafted using 95% old vine Mourvedre, as well as his expressive set of Rosé bottlings, including this classic all estate grown example. This year’s fabulous version opens up easily on the smoothly dense medium bodied palate and reveals an extra dimension of flavors and stays impeccably focused from its lightly floral, rosewater, crushed raspberry and earthy nose to the lingering tart, kirsch and saline finish, making it a regal and highly enjoyable wine. The Château Pradeaux, imported by Rosenthal Wine Merchant, is located near the small town of Saint Cyr-sur-Mer, and is set close to the Mediterranean Sea, between Toulon and Marseilles and has been. The estate is owned by the historic Portalis family, who have been wonderful guardians of this property since before the French Revolution. This Bandol Rosé can be a refresher, as it was for me on a warm winter afternoon and it is flexible enough to go with a variety of foods, especially mussels in a spicy broth and or with farmhouse cheeses.

The Pradeaux wines are all artisan and hand crafted offerings that are reflections of the attention to detail, sense of pace and the hard work from the brothers Portalis, Etienne and Edouard, who have taken the reins of the domaine here from their parents Cyrille and Magali Portalis is recent years, though they remain central figures at Pradeaux. The majority of the vineyards at Chateau Pradeaux is planted to Mourvèdre, which were brought to the region in a bigger way in the late 1800s and early 1900s, and is the primary grape in all the wines here, though the Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé is, as Rosenthal and Pradeaux note, composed of Cinsault as well as Mourvèdre, which gives this beauty its lively natural acidity, while Mourvèdre gives power, wight and structure to this exciting Bandol Rosé. The Pradeaux pink wine sees a short maceration on the skins, to give this wine its pale and vivid hue, after whole cluster (direct press, non saignée) pressing the juice is then fermented at low temperatures, which the winery adds, to retain freshness, zesty fruit and its pretty bouquet. The Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rosé is aged 100% in cement cuves, where it gets its leesy depth and the wine is normally bottled in late spring of the year following the harvest. I am a huge fan of the Pradeaux wines with their transparent form and traditional terroir driven character, with this wine always being a fantastic choice and represents a great value in this legendary region, rivaling some of much more expensive Bandol offerings, including the famous Domaine Tempier and Domaine Gros Nore to name of few. This Pradeaux Rosé is a blend of Cinsault (50%) and Mourvèdre (50%), and as the winery explains, its slight orange tint comes from the latter cépage and this effort is done without any Malo-lactic conversion to show off its vigorous and vibrant nature. This 2019 is one of the best and age worthy vintages I can remember, it should stay rewarding for many years, and it proves that Rosé can be and in some cases cellared, this is one to search out and enjoy with substantial cuisine and a hearty meal.
($30 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive

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