A Wine Lover’s Review Of Fine French Wine – A Bandol Rose Revisited

Just about one year ago I reviewed a rose Bandol AOC, my first rose for this relatively prestigious appellation. This is arguably the finest appellation in Provence, a fantastic region of southern France not particularly known for fine wine. I figured why not try this wine again, or maybe I momentarily forgot that I had previously tried it. You can check out the old review for information about the producer (a co-op, which might explain the relatively low price) and what to see in this marvelous part of the world. Like they enjoy some 3000 hours of sunshine a year. The soil is rocky, sea breezes help cool the nights, and the grapes are picked by hand. What more could you want? Our companion wine is a rose (white Merlot) from an undisclosed blend of Canadian and international grapes (they call it Cellared in Canada) at half the price.

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

Wine Reviewed Cuvee Grande Tradition AOC Bandol Rose 2010 14.7 % alcohol about $19.

We can start by quoting the marketing materials. “Description: The 2010 Cuvee Grande Tradition Bandol rose is an intensely expressive wine offering a very delightful nose of fresh flowers, strawberries, watermelon and minerality. The palate is dry, round and delicious. The tangy fruit and the minerality are well supported by a bracing acidity. Refreshing and complex, this makes a fantastic sipper or will pair well with herbed chicken or summer salads.” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was very long. It tasted metallic and citrony, and was light yet powerful. I started off with Japanese rice crackers that increased the wine’s acidity. My initial meal centered on a barbecued chicken leg. In response the wine was almost ethereal. It was quite long and mouth filling, and yet subtle. The side dish was Basmati rice that was cooked with brown lentils. Now this libation’s acidity increased.

Then came a fairly spicy homemade chili. The Bandol’s dominant tastes were citron and strawberries, and it offered nice acidity. With the accompanying tomato, cucumber, and red onion salad, our liquid friend showed great length. It was light but assertive.

My final meal centered on an omelet prepared with black pepper, basil, and parsley. Once again I got strawberries. The libation offered light sweetness and was pleasantly acidic. A zesty guacamole rendered this wine ethereal. For dessert I had fresh raspberries that made Provence’s child taste long and slightly metallic.

When paired with a Swiss cheese this wine was flowery, blooms burst out and I got some musk. When accompanying a goat’s milk cheese covered with brushetta, the liquid offered a great balance between acidity and fruit.

Final verdict. This is a definite yes, but I won’t promise to review it next year. Now I’m looking for a white Bandol.

Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but prefers drinking fine wine. 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. Visit his wine, nutrition, and health website www.wineinyourdiet.com .

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