The picturesque Provençal wine region of Bandol has to be one of my favorite sources for rosé wines, and this week's find certainly supports my case. The 2010 rosé from Domaine La Suffrene is delicious, jam-packed with flavor, and while on the pricey side, it is definitely worth the splurge.
Pale salmon color with pretty coppery glints, this wine is deliciously dry and minerally, which both compliments and contrasts the intensity of fruit flavors that keep on opening up in the glass with every swirl and sip. Wild strawberry, redcurrants, raspberry, watermelon, tangerine and ruby grapefruit, with pretty lifted floral notes and an alluring scent of garrigue. It is medium bodied with a rounded mouthfeel and a nice creaminess mid-palate. Long length and an earthy savoriness on the finish.
At the Table: This rosé is a real gem at the tale. It is fruity and refreshing enough to sip as an apéritif on any spring or summer evening, but it really comes into its stride with freshly grilled sardines, sea bass, bouillabaisse or even a simple Salade Niçoise. Our partner dish for the evening was grilled filet of black bass with tasty fiddlehead ferns from the market.
About Bandol, the wines and Domaine La Suffrene
Bandol is a French wine region situated in Provence in the South of France. In some ways it is France's best-kept secret, producing some of the best red wines of the Midi, which are made predominantly from the thick-skinned Mourvèdre grape, and often blended with Carignan and Grenache. A lot of rosé is made, from the younger vines, as appellations laws stipulate that vines for red Bandol wine must be at least 8 years old.
Domaine LA Suffrene has been growing grapes for generations, but only started making their own wine in 1996. Prior to that they sold their grapes to the local co-operative winery. This 2010 Bandol Rosé is a blend of 40% Mourvèdre, 30% Cinsault, 20% Grenache and 10% Carignan. It is made in a fresh, unoaked style.
Previous Wine of the Week: Graf V. Schönborn Silvaner Kabinett Trocken 2009
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.