It may be after Labor Day, for many of us the white shoes get put away but not the rosé. It is such a versatile wine that pairs beautifully with food. The Wine Wednesday post is about this lovely La Bastide Blanche Bandol. Easily drinks like a rosé twice the price. I found a bottle on our stay at Hawthorne in August and was again super impressed by it. We enjoyed it on our last eve there with dinner outside under the stars.
From a little web searching on this tasty wine: The limestone rich soils of St. Anne de Castellet provide a taut mineral framework and juicy acidity, while the high proportion of Mourvèdre in this traditional Provençal blend offers an intense fruit core of ripe strawberry laced with grapefruit and tangerine zest accented by pungent herbs and a touch of spice. This is the classic Bandol rosé by which all others ought to be judged.
This elegant, powerful rosé comes from one of the producers who put Bandol on the map as a truly great wine region in the early 1990s. La Bastide Blanche’s success rests on extremely low yields and impeccable conditions in the cellar.
A complex, perfectly balanced wine with lovely aromas of red-currant, peach, blood orange, rose and spice. The palate is dense with creamy berry fruit, citrus and stone flavors, ripe and full with bright balancing acidity with terrific density and length. Delicious now, this will improve over the next few years.
There are tons of lovely bottles of rosé out there, but if pushed to say what my absolute favorite is for my “Wine Wednesday” pick, I would have to say Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé. I get that same elated feeling when opening a bottle of Veuve. It has a specialness to it. It would not be something consumed often, so there is just a festive feel when you get to enjoy a bottle. Brought to the States by the esteemed Kermit Lynch out of Berkeley. Produced in the Bandol region by the now world famous Peyraud family. Opening a bottle of this is pure sunshine. Their rosé is 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 20% Cinsault. It has that lighter pink color that I always strive to match when choosing a rosé by other makers, as Domaine Tempier is the benchmark I hold for all others. I don’t really believe in saving things for ‘special’ occasions, as I think that diminishes the specialness of every day. So the next time you want a serious treat (sitting with a friend catching up, seeing a loved one you have missed, or you just want to celebrate the day) and you are looking for a rosé, hands down this is what I would grab.
Summer does not officially end for a few weeks, and as I wrote awhile back, I am determined to enjoy each and every last moment of it. So often rosé is thought of as a Summer drink. While we do occasionally enjoy it at other times of year, the sunny months are when we enjoy it with frequency. But come a super rainy day in February, I will crack open a bottle and be harkened back to the deck at WestWard or a little street cafe in Provence. Which leads me to the ‘Wine Wednesday’ choice. The Bandol region of Provence is know for their stellar rosé. Very often that means the prices of the bottles can be steep. Always worth it, but not always what you are wanting when searching for a bottle of wine. This Le Pont Bandol is one heck of a value and one heck of a rosé. Actually, it is the other way around. It is a stellar wine at a very good value. Finding a Bandol rosé under 20 bucks can be a trying task. It is accomplished with this wine. Friends gave us a bottle last year and it has become a favorite since. Not the easiest to find, but if you do, grab it. Summer in a bottle, any time of year.
Our meal last week at The Whale Wins was a winner, as was the wine. As promised, I wanted to share with you this tasty red. The fun thing for me about these wine posts is I get to dig up a bit of information on these wines and vintners I would not usually know. This one in particular is quite interesting, as it is produced by brothers. In the early ’70s Michel and Louis Bronzo acquired the property of the Bastide Blanche, with an eye to producing from appellation Bandol wines the equal of more famous appellations like Chateauneuf. Their efforts were rewarded in 1993 when vintage conditions created the benchmark year to put the Bandol region and Bastide Blanche, in particular, on the map of top producers in France. They have various cuvees, depending on the vintage, but always about 75% Mourvedre at a minimum. The wine was perfect and paired nicely with all the robust flavors the meal offered. From my web research, I am finding the bottles running around the $25 mark, which for a wine from Bandol, is one heck of a value. This is definitely one of those wines that will be on my mental list to buy when I see it, either on the wine shop/grocery shelves or on the menu.