2019 Domaine La Bastide Blanche, Bandol Rosé, Provence, France.
The Domaine La Bastide Blanche, located in St. Anne de Castellet, founded back in the early 1970s is one of the great producers in Bandol, along with Domaine Tempier and Pradeaux, with a terroir of that is rich in limestone. This Domaine is well known for their intense reds and this full bodied Rosé, having a high proportion of Mourvèdre. This 2019 is, like Tempier is a ripe and expressive example of Bandol, delivering mouth filling layers of fresh squeezed raspberry, sour cherry, plum water, strawberry and blood orange along with dry extract. An array of spices, wet stone and some leesy density. This version, is as always, mostly the powerful Mourvèdre with about equal parts Cinsault and Grenache, which gives some generous fruit and fresh zestiness from all hand-harvested grapes on those clay-limestone and cailloux (stony) soils. I can imagine enjoying this with a paella, seafood stews and especially with steamed mussels in spicy broth, but this Bandol Rosé can handle a variety of dishes.

This Bandol Rosé is grippingy stuff, certainly not a whimpy or dull wine, making good use of its impressive structural quality, it’s a wine that performs best with more robust cuisine. The La Bastide Blanche Rosé was crafted with the saignee process using fully ripe and flavorful grapes. While lush and with a natural alcohol above 14%, this vintage has plenty of lift and crisp minerallity that adds some classic charm. Owners of three estates, Michel and Louis Bronzo have a very tidy collection of Bandol vines, and here at La Bastide Blanc they are farming with organic methods, utilizing small yields to add to the impact and concentration they achieve in their wines. The 2019 Domaine La Bastide Bandol Rosé was a blend of about 71% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, 12% Cinsault and 3% Clairette, a white grape that is co-fermented into main lot, and it should be noted that this cuvée is assembled by Peter Weygandt, the American importer, of Weygandt-Metzler at the domaine with the talented help of Stéphane Bourret, the winemaker and the Bronzo family themselves, with each year being slightly different. This is delicious and very rewarding dry pink wine and selling at almost half the price of Tempier’s Bandol Rosé, it is a real bargain!
($24 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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