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2022 Bandol Rosé

Domaine de la Tour du Bon
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The myth of “rosé season” has led to throngs of thirsty consumers lining up to buy anything pink sold in a wine bottle as early as April, as well as scores of sad retailers weeping over stagnating case stacks come October. So, as a frustrated wine salesman, I have honorably dedicated fifteen minutes of my life to this here electronic proclamation that not all rosés should be limited to a six-month lifespan.
     Take Bandol rosé, for instance: it features a generous portion of Mourvèdre, a grape so sturdy that local merchants in a bygone era were known to load up casks of the wine into the hull of their nautical vessels simply to take it for a spin, hoping the journey would soften its rough edges and render the stuff more drinkable. Sure, times have changed, but it goes to show that a few months’ time in bottle will certainly not be the downfall of wines starring this noble variety.
     In fact, the rosé from Domaine de la Tour du Bon has just hit its stride. Aromas of peach, grapefruit, and thyme—reticent just a few months ago—are now blossoming, while it has become utterly delicate and silky on the palate. It has entered its peak drinking window, which will last through next summer, if past vintages are any indicator.
     Uncork a bottle with chicories or other winter greens (bonus points for garlicky anchovy dressing, as they would do in Provence) to create irresistible seasonal synergy. You’ll certainly agree that this Bandol’s exceptional ability to pair with anything set down on the table is yet another reason why “rosé season” is simply treason.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: Rosé
Vintage: 2022
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 50% Mourvèdre, 32% Cinsault, 10% Grenache, 8% Clairette
Appellation: Bandol
Country: France
Region: Provence
Producer: Domaine de la Tour du Bon
Winemaker: Agnès Henry
Vineyard: 38 year average
Soil: Clay, Limestone, Silt, Sandstone
Aging: Vinification occurs in stainless steel cuve, Rosé does not go through malolactic fermentation
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 13%

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About The Region

Provence

map of Provence

There is perhaps no region more closely aligned with the history of Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant than Provence. While Kermit began his career as a Burgundy specialist, he soon fell in love with Provence and its wines, notably the legendary Bandols of Domaine Tempier, which he began importing in 1977. He later began living in the area part-time, returning frequently between tasting trips, and today he spends most of his time at his home just outside of Bandol.

Provence is thought to be France’s most ancient wine region, established when Greek settlers landed in the modern-day port city of Marseille in the 6th century BC. The conditions here are ideal for cultivation of the grapevine, with a hot, dry climate and a prevalence of poor, rocky soils, primarily limestone-based, suitable for vines and not much else. The ever-present southern sunshine as well as the mistral, a cold, drying wind from the northwest that helps keep the vines free of disease, are crucial elements of Provençal terroir. Wild herbs from the pervasive scrubland, called garrigue, and cooling saline breezes from the Mediterranean also contribute to the quality and character of wines in all three colors.

Provence is well known for its rosés, but red wines have always held importance here. The very best, such as those from Bandol, possess great depth and a capacity for long-term aging. The white wines, notably those of Cassis, offer weight balanced by a maritime freshness, making them ideal pairings for the local seafood. Mourvèdre reigns king for red grapes, supported mainly by Grenache and Cinsault, while Clairette, Marsanne, Rolle, and Ugni Blanc are the region’s principal white grapes.

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Terroirs

Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312

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