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jean pierre gaussenBandol is one of the loveliest of wines when it has some age on it. This beauty shows a memory of youth still strong.

Delicate but clear, focused aromas of red berry and smoky garrique are woven with autumn leaves and prominent crushed rock.

A prickly yet elegant palate, the introduction is soft and reticent but peppery, drying tannins show up at midpalate accompanied by a moment of juicy amplitude and breadth before launching the finish, all delicate and  intricate but you can see through it to its more rustic youth like a tamed warrior who can still flash a theatrical sword. With the softness that comes from age, the edges are there but have been civilized.

Wines from Bandol when young have a reputation for toughness. At 10 years past vintage date the ambitions of youth become wry and wistful and go down so well accompanied by Van Morrison’s Someone LIke you

Technical Notes: Bandol is a small appellation east of Marseilles situated in Provence, a region better known for its rosé. By law it must be at least 50% Mourvèdre with a few other grapes such as Cinsault and Grenache permitted, but most have a high percentage of Mourvèdre as does this gem made of 90% Mourvèdre with 10% Cinsault. Very old school, from a respected producer in operation since 1962, aged for 22 months in foudres.

Score: 92

Price: $28

Alc: 13.5%