2009 Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé
There is the appellation of Bandol with its plethora of producers, some good, some mediocre; and then there is Chateau Pradeaux, the unique, inimitable, standard bearer for this ancient wine-growing district. The Château Pradeaux is situated on the outskirts of the town of St. Cyr Sur Mer which lies directly on the Mediterranean Ocean between Toulon and Marseilles. The estate is owned by the Portalis family which has owned this property since before the French Revolution. The domaine is currently under the direction of Cyrille Portalis, who continues to maintain the great traditions of this estate. Although the major part of the vineyards are planted to Mourvedre, the Château Pradeaux Bandol rosé is composed of Cinsault and Grenache as well as Mourvedre. After a short maceration on the skins, in order to extract a light color, the juice is fermented at low temperatures to retain freshness, fruit and bouquet. After being aged in stainless steel cuves, the wine is normally bottled in May or June of the year following the harvest. It is one of the richest of the rosés of France; dry but full-bodied with a floral bouquet. It is a very limited production wine as most of the production at Château Pradeaux is used to make the formidable Bandol Rouge.