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2012 Bandol Rouge

Domaine de Terrebrune

2012 Bandol <i>Rouge</i> Domaine de Terrebrune - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Terrebrune vigneron Reynald Delille seems to be a quiet, reserved man, but a twinkle in his eye appears as soon as he begins pouring samples of his Bandols. Upon seeing his guests’ excitement when tasting his wines, he suddenly becomes eager to provide an in depth explanation of why the wines taste the way they do. This explanation is rooted in terroir, as Terrebrune benefits from geographical and geological features that make it unique in the Bandol appellation. The vineyards lie directly in the path of marine breezes that sweep off the Mediterranean, providing his wines with a mouthwatering saline quality. Additionally, the fissured limestone from the Trias era allows vine roots to probe deep for freshness—crucial in the dry Provençal summers. Extreme precision in farming and vinification make Terrebrune special as well. This chewy, gamey Bandol suggests Reynald is onto something— here is a full-bodied dose of Terrebrune terroir you can enjoy over the next thirty years. –Anthony Lynch
Vintage: 2012
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 85% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache, 5% Cinsault
Appellation: Bandol
Country: France
Region: Provence
Producer: Domaine de Terrebrune
Winemaker: Reynald Delille
Vineyard: 20 years average
Soil: Limestone pebbles in brown clay, blue limestone bedrock, marl
Aging: Wine ages in oak foudres for 18 months
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 14%

More from this Producer or Region

About Provence

Perhaps there is no region more closely aligned with the history to Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant than Provence. Provence is where Richard Olney, an American ex-pat and friend of Alice Waters, lived, and introduced Kermit to the great producers of Provence, most importantly Domaine Tempier of Bandol. Kermit also spends upwards of half his year at his home in a small town just outside of Bandol.

Vitis vinifera first arrived in France via Provence, landing in the modern day port city of Marseille in the 6th century BC. The influence of terroir on Provençal wines goes well beyond soil types. The herbs from the pervasive scrubland, often referred to as garrigue, as well as the mistral—a cold, drying wind from the northwest that helps keep the vines free of disease—play a significant role in the final quality of the grapes. Two more elements—the seemingly ever-present sun and cooling saline breezes from the Mediterranean—lend their hand in creating a long growing season that result in grapes that are ripe but with good acidity.

Rosé is arguably the most well known type of wine from Provence, but the red wines, particularly from Bandol, possess a great depth of character and ability to age. The white wines of Cassis and Bandol offer complexity and ideal pairings for the sea-influenced cuisine. Mourvèdre reigns king for red grapes, and similar to the Languedoc and Rhône, Grenache, Cinsault, Marsanne, Clairette, Rolle, Ugni Blanc among many other grape varieties are planted.

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Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

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