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2020 Bandol Rouge

Domaine du Gros ’Noré
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After Domaine Tempier, Gros ’Noré represents our second-oldest relationship in Bandol, going back twenty-five years to when Kermit came across the burly former boxer who had stopped selling his prized grapes to big-name Provençal estates and begun bottling his own wine. It didn’t take long for the jovial and endlessly generous Alain Pascal to become one of the great producers of the region, fashioning reds that remarkably mirror his personality and stature in so many ways.
     His vineyards are situated along the rolling hillsides around La Cadière d’Azur, where the hot summer sun and clay soils impart impressive power to his grapes. Alain’s blend features eighty percent Mourvèdre—above the appellation minimum of fifty percent—a choice that results in additional concentration and brawn in his soulful Bandol. The power of Alain’s rouge is always balanced by plenty of freshness and finesse, making it an outstanding bottle to pair with a wide range of grilled and braised meats. The flavors of dark fruit, garrigue, and smoke sing beautifully alongside Chris Lee’s duck breast with tapenade for a sublime winter feast.

Tom Wolf

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 80% Mourvèdre, 15% Grenache, 5% Cinsault
Appellation: Bandol
Country: France
Region: Provence
Producer: Domaine du Gros ‘Noré
Winemaker: Alain Pascal
Vineyard: 30 years average, 14 ha
Soil: Clay
Farming: Organic (certified)
Alcohol: 14.5%

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About The Region

Provence

map of 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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Kermit Lynch pulling wine out of a cellar.

If you're looking for value, look where no one else is looking.

Inspiring Thirst, page 211

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