guissard bandolA solid if unspectacular expression of Bandol. This blend of 70% Mourvedre, Grenache, and Cinsault features compact but plentiful aromas of red plum, tobacco leaf, freshly turned earth, and nuances of chocolate and vanilla. But the background gamy note gives away its origin.

Bright early-appearing acidity and firm, peppery tannins give the wine a taut, sinewy presentation. A conspicuous seam of juicy, ripe fruit moves and stirs in its prison bound tightly by the persistent acidity and swelling tannins, which dampens the fruit expression.

The wine is medium bodied but its evolution has no volatility or hints and feints. Concise, confident but grim and resolute, it moves as a monolith, each element relentless but unchanging like a stalled looming seawall in a storm.

The medium length finish is hard but not grippy and cries out for roasted leg of lamb accompanied by some simple, blues-based rock from the Black Keys

Score: 90

Price: $23

Alc: 14.5%