In the sunny Bandol appellation, Domaine de la Tour du Bon is a Provençal paradise of vines, olive trees, and pine forest. The soils consist of clay atop a hard layer of limestone; in fact, when certain parcels were first planted in 1935, the process of working the earth brought up countless massive stones that had to be broken up, cleared out, and used for the construction of terrace walls. Today, Mourvèdre and a host of other Mediterranean grape varieties cover the land, basking in the sunbaked, windswept landscape. The philosophy at the domaine is to work hard in the vines so that the vintage’s full potential is contained in nothing but the grapes, which are taken to the cellar to extract all the character the soil and growing season bestow. A concentrated, powerful red with hints of earth, game, and spice, this Bandol can be enjoyed now or kept for many years. –Anthony Lynch
|Blend:||55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, 15% Cinsault, 5% Carignan|
|Producer:||Domaine de la Tour du Bon|
|Soil:||Clay, Limestone, Silt, Sandstone|
|Aging:||Wines age in foudres for 18 months before bottling|
Domaine de la Tour du Bon rests atop a limestone plateau in the northwestern corner of the A.O.C. Bandol, nestled beneath the mountains to the North. It is a bastion of tranquility, a Mediterranean oasis surrounded by beautiful gardens and vineyards. The Hocquard family has been farming this land since 1968, situated at an altitude of 150 meters above sea-level. Fourteen hectares of red earth, clay, sand, and gravel rest upon sturdy limestone bedrock; brow-beating excavation and focused determination alone built these vineyards. Today, Agnès Henry runs the show. Independent, quick to laugh, and modest, Agnès has come into her own. Who better to make the wine than the person who knows the story of the land the best?
When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:
1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.
Inspiring Thirst, page 174