"...within sniffing distance of the Mediterranean, surprisingly sturdy wines made largely from the mourvedre grape can stun you with their haunting beauty." - Eric Asimov, New York Times
It's fun to see some of our favorite under-the-radar producers and regions getting serious press.
For us, a lot of the beauty, the thrill of the wine world is its incredible diversity - in this regard Asimov deserves a lot of credit for bringing wines like Bandol (to say nothing of last week's German wine profile) to the huge audience of the Times.
So taking the cue from Asimov's piece this week on Chateau Pradeaux's Bandol, today we feature the more brooding, structured, darker side of Provence. Summer may be over, but Provence still has a lot to offer the fall- and winter-inspired dinner table.
The Mourvèdre-based Pradeaux Bandol is a midnight-black wine, warm and gripping... think of it as Cabernet Sauvignon's more sinister cousin.
Asimov calls it, “structured yet bewitching.”>
If you've never had a winter red from Bandol, this is certainly the place to start - Pradeaux is the region’s most traditional producer, a benchmark of the old-school style, with wines that are fermented with stems, foudre-aged for four years and bottled without fining or filtering.
The 2004 is an especially astute example, backed by the vintage’s super concentration as a canvas for the wine’s characteristic sturdy tannins and rowdy yet captivating notes of licorice, tobacco, animal hide, olive and earth.
Sounds like everything you want as you hunker down for winter, doesn’t it? And just in time.
As the last leaves fall from the trees and the dinner table starts to host more substantial stews and red meat, the 04 Pradeaux is “just emerging from the stranglehold of its tannic embrace,” as Asimov puts it. The bottle will show beautifully with braised or smoked meats, and a traditional daube de boeuf Provençal stew with this would be just perfect on the first snow day of the year.
This is an outstanding value for an incredibly ageworthy wine that will cellar well for at least another decade - quite probably two. And while we're glad that the Times piece brought attention to this wine, the best way to appreciate Pradeaux Bandol is with age, which is why we've priced our three-packs so sharply today. For anyone interested in unique, personality-driven wines, this is well worth trying and, if you have room, stocking up on.
To place your order, please email us at email@example.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.
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