A Hot Tip Gives us Great Value Bandol Rosé — Marie Berenice
In the same way that Champagne is indisputably the greatest AOC for sparkling wines, Bandol is the greatest AOC for rosé. The AOC is also permitted to make red wine, but such is the quality and esteem of their pink wines that 70% of the grapes — basically, all but the ripest and most structured grapes — end up as rosé.
There are lots of producers of Bandol rosé, and certainly not all of them great. So how do you find the good ones? Well, one of our importer friends, Enrique Ibañez, took an intelligent approach to figuring that out: he went and visited the greatest producers in Bandol — and asked them for a recommendation. The answer that came back was a fairly new producer on the scene, Domaine Marie Bérénice.
Bérénice is somewhat of an old-fashioned producer: wine-making is traditional, with long macerations, and aging in large casks. There is a strong preference for Mourvèdre, the traditional grape of Bandol, and the one that gives Bandol rosé that special strawberry-like fruit and its structure. Berenice’s rose is 80% Mourvèdre.
Do buy extra bottles, as this is wine that is already good now, but will be even better if you happen to still have a few when the next summer rolls around.
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