My Favorite Wine; Oct. 4, 2018

2013 La Bastide Blanche

‘Cuvée Fontaneou’

Bandol, FR

Regular Price $33.99

Sale Price $26.99

Bandol is the worst kept secret in the wine world; radio wine ‘experts’ love to allude to it as if its a newly discovered region rather than the internationally recognized region that has been producing wine since about 600 BC. Or if they do mention bandol, it’s merely as a homage to the few recognized (and difficult to find) wines from the region. But, then again, when did radio wine ‘experts’ really ever have any clue?

Bandol reds are produced in far greater quantities than their whites and rosés, although those are fabulous wines in their own rights. Red Bandol must be comprised of at least 50% Mourvèdre (although most producers use significantly more) and are often blended with Grenache and Cinsaut. Syrah and Carignan are restricted to a maximum of 15% of the blend or 10% individually. Prior to release, the wine is required to age at least 18 months in oak. The Mourvèdre  grown on the red clay that is scattered throughout the region produces a wine is very tannic and generally requires patience.

This wine is classic, although not quite as tannic as many of its brethren. As a 2013, it has some bottle age, with softens the tannic structure, but still exhibits loads of black fruit scented with vanilla and cinnamon. Typical to the region, the wine is, well, unruly, let’s say, punctuating the dominant fruit flavors with herbal, spicy and earthy aromas and flavors. This is not your big, ripe, smooth, predictable Napa Cab, but rather, a wine that will both surprise and challenge.