My Favorite Wine, April 3, 2019

2013 Domaine les Bastides

Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence, FR

Regular price $27.99

Sale Price $21.99

Its nice that American wine drinkers have finally embraced Rosé. No, really, I mean it. Especially Provence Rosé. I mean, here’s a region that been making wines for at least 2500 years, and finally, in the last 5 years or so, we’ve noticed them. But only the Rosé. Nice.

But, really, I’m not going to say anything negative about Provence Rosé. Some of it is really very good. Most of it is just fine. But, since we (American wine drinkers) insist on drinking it at nearly frigid temperatures (and think Fro-ro is cool!), then insipid, dull Rosé is fine. At least it’s (mostly) inexpensive from here.

Instead, let’s talk about Provence reds, which are pretty much the opposite of Rosé. They are, mostly, made with the same grapes that you’ll find in Rosé (we’ll leave Bandol out of this conversation) Grenache, Carignane, Mourvedre and the youngster, Cabernet Sauvignon. The vines are typically old (30-50 years is normal, the young vines make the Rosé), yields are low and production is unhurried. The resulting wines are deep and soulful, herbal and dense, minerally and broad. They are country wines; honest, not the least bit tricked up with new oak or added sugar or Mega-Purple or any of the other additives that California producers add to their wines. Low in sulphur, and using only native yeasts, these wines have been made in this fashion for generations, long before the proponents of natural wines knew how to spell the term.

Anyway, this wine…is just what I described above. Made of Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s a bit rough and ready, but in a good way. It’s not slick, and seamless and smooth. It’s not sanded and polished and air-brushed. It’s the wine that you’d get from a bistro in Provence on a cold, not yet spring evening. It’s what you should drink tonight.

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