I Love French Wine – Yet Another Rose From Bandol

Today’s wine is a yet another Bandol Rose. Bandol is said by many to be the best appellation in that great region of Provence. Some say that the local competition isn’t all that ferocious. Provence roses tend to be less memorable than Provence itself. Moncigale now belongs to Marie Brizard, a major producer of liqueurs. A few weeks ago we saw what a producer’s cooperative could do with local grapes, especially Mourvedre. Now we’ll see what a high-powered multinational can do with these same grapes. The companion wine is a Primitivo rose (said to be Zinfandel’s European cousin) from southern Italy, costing about half as much.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Moncigale Mineral Rose Bandol AOC 2010 13% alcohol about $19.

Let’s start by quoting the marketing materials. “Description: This salmon-pink wine has aromas of rhubarb, strawberry and mineral delightfully supported by a touch of lime zest. The palate is fresh with very good aroma replays. A good length to the fruity finish, with a nice mineral note sealing the deal. A delightful wine that is the ideal starter for your evening, particularly if dining outside. It’s also a good partner for pan-fried freshwater fish..” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was almost feathery and yet metallic. It was refreshingly acidic. I started with Japanese rice crackers that intensified the libation. And a Wasabi pea made it oily. The initial meal was an omelet perked up with majoram, garlic powder, dried basil leaves, black pepper, and a Middle Eastern spice mix. Now the rose gave me the taste of raspberries with limes. With hummus the drink was sweet but alas its fruit was gone. The other side dish was a Matabucha salad made from tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, sweet red and green pepper. In response the Bandol was round, long, and fruity.

The following meal centered on sauteed chicken breast cubes coated in a mixture of cumin, garlic powder, and black pepper. Now this wine was light, offering refreshing acidity. It managed to be metallic and yet almost feathery. A side dish of bulgar weakened the liquid somewhat. The other side was a Turkish salad consisting of tomato, tomato paste, onion, sweet red pepper, garlic, sugar, and other spices. The salad weakened our friend from Provence, who kept its roundness. When paired with fresh raspberries the libation was refreshing but remained weak.

My final meal was a boxed eggplant parmiagana that I doused with grated Parmesan cheese. This wine was long and elegant. Its acidity tingled and I tasted berries. Dessert, bittersweet Swiss chocolate, rendered this wine light.

For years I have been reviewing the wines with two cheeses. No longer, at least not on a regular basis. I am not a big fan of wine and cheese and don’t feel that I’ll miss it.

Final verdict. This wine was pretty good. I was not able to find it any cheaper on the web. I don’t really feel that this was a $20 wine.

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine Iwine with good company. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is http://www.travelitalytravel.com .

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