2,500 years ago, the first vines were planted in Bandol, making it one of the oldest vineyards in France. In the years since, the region nestled into the hills a hop, skip and jump away from the Mediterranean has kept mostly quiet on the world market, while the most wine savvy have recognized Bandol as one of the most noble wine regions in the world.
Mourvèdre, the star grape of the show in Bandol, responds best to plenty of sun and warm weather bookended by cool nights to achieve proper ripeness, conditions which describe Provence perfectly. The grape also particularly likes limestone soil, which is mixed with silicon in this unique little microclimate.
The red wines of Bandol are known for their brooding tannins, earthy, herbal, smoky notes and their distinct sense of wildness. In youth, they deserve a hefty decant, but they're really at their best with age. The 2004 Pradeaux has, at the least, another decade in it and deserves a spot in the well-rounded cellar.