Terroir: The appellation of Bandol encompasses about 3700 acres in the south of France west of the Cotes de Provence and directly bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the southeast. This small appellation stretches across eight villages, each representing a unique terroir; Bandol, Le Beausset, Le Castellet, La Cadiere d’Azur, Saint Cyr sur Mer, Sainte Anne d’Evenos, Sanary and Ollioles. Soils, range from shallow, dry and stoney primarily of limestone, sand and sandstone, to deeper, clay based soils around La Cadiere d’Azur. Vineyards are planted as “restanques” or stone terraces built into the hillsides.
Vinification: A blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Cinsault, the wine is vinified and aged in a combination of epoxy lined concrete tank, large neutral oak casks and about 20% in new oak barrels producing a wine of powerful, ripe, juicy fruit with an elegant, refined finish.
“2011 will be the landmark for red wines in Bandol. The kind of vintages that build the legend in the mind of all the wine lovers: 1961 in Bordeaux, 1959 in Burgundy, 1996 in Champagne…there will 2011 in Bandol. As for most of the Mediterranean “croissant”, 2011 is the vintage for the late ripening grapes, so is Mourvèdre of course. Winter, rather cold and humid was followed by a warm and sunny spring which favored a dynamic vine cycle leading to an early flowering in some areas. At the beginning of July, summer was still awaited. Temperatures are lower than usual whilst the scattered rainfalls happened to be useful and rebuilt the water reserves to prepare the vines for a very warm and sunny August. In spite of some short rainy phases at the end of August, this great sunny period extended for several weeks in September and boosted the Mourvèdre ripening in perfect conditions. The berry quality was wonderful with a unique sugar level and, as soon as in the vats, showing perfect balances, the first step of the best vintages.
Once again, the backbone of the wine is the deep Mourvèdre from “Chemin de l’Argile”. For this rich vintage freshness and balance come from sourcings in the cold terroir of Evenos and close to the sea, on the western side of the appellation, Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer. Bandol 2011, as soon as blended is crunchy and complex, rich, full and ripe but also precise and extremely elegant. With no doubt, it is the wine for several decades.” -Gregory Hecht
Score: 92 PointsWine Spectator Author: James Molesworth
Score: 90 PointsThe Wine Advocate Author: Jeb Dunnuck
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