French Wine Club, October!
This month we visit the sunny cliffs of the Mediterranean for a peek inside one of the great, small wine-making regions of Southern France.
2009 Chateaux Pradeaux Bandol Rouge
The reds of Chateau Pradeaux are perhaps the most traditional from this appellation. They are always a minimum of 95% Mourvèdre, with the balance being Grenache. 100% whole clusters only adds to the tight, tannic qualities of the wine. Therefore, the reds are aged a minimum of four years in large, old oval foudres before bottling so that the wine is more approachable in its youth. No new oak is used and no small barrels. The wine is neither fined or filtered.
Mourvédre can give really big, tannic, wines which is why so many producers have succumbed to fashion and dialed back the amounts they use in their Bandol. But as Eric Asimov of the New York Times recently wrote "the beast lives on in the soul of Chateau Pradeaux." The 2009 is full-bodied with notes of wild flowers, lavender, leather, licorice, and a certain wildness that is difficult to elucidate. Decant for a couple of hours if you intend on drinking it soon. Otherwise, this wine will store and improve for a decade at least. A great, unique, traditional wine from a standard bearer producer.
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