The modern template for Provence's most famous wine, Bandol, was created in 1941 by Lucien Peyraud of Domaine Tempier and Arlette Portalis of Château Pradeaux. Together, they defined the rules for the appellation, putting the Mourvèdre grape variety at its heart. They remain jointly the best producers in the region, bastions of tradition producing benchmark wines.
But while the story of Tempier has been romanticised and made famous, Château Pradeaux is less well-known here. A tasting of the wines confirms that this has more to do with chance than any difference in quality. Pradeaux's Bandols are the equal of Tempier's, made in an uncompromisingly traditional style. The reds are big, structured and powerful, demanding long ageing. It's worth it.
They also make the best rosé in Bandol, what Etienne Portalis proudly describes as "rosé de gastronomie". Its salmon colour and deep, complex flavours mark it out as a truly fine wine - richer and more structured than Tempier's. After a year in bottle, it is generous, supple and with a long, fresh finish. It is very moreish, but could be aged further.
The Portalis family has been making wine in Bandol for centuries ... Their rosé remains a standardbearer for all the feral intensity of Mourvèdre ... and quality has been on the upswing for the past decade.John Bonne
We have a few cases of the 2019 arriving next week. It's available to pre-order online now.