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A Very Special Rosé from One of the Greats: Château Pradeaux's '23 Bandol

Stylized image of Pradeaux Rose

Among the oceans of rosé that are now produced in every corner of the wine world, we admire most those producers who have been around since before the rosé craze began, and have never felt any pressure to change their recipe. The rosés of Clos Cibonne come to mind. Another one is Pradeaux’s.

That Pradeaux is a special throwback to an earlier time is obvious the moment you glance at its color: a gorgeous, bright hue that is almost orange, but not quite. Somewhere between salmon and tangerine. No other wine looks like this.

And no other wine tastes quite like it, either. It has Provence's succulent summer fruit, and also the terroir's mineral underpinnings. The organically-farmed vines — 75% Mourvèdre, Provence's traditional grape, accented by some Cinsault — grow in red clay and limestone soils.

But more than most rosés, Pradeaux shows off its non-fruity side: the wild herbs that grow alongside the vines, the salinity of the Mediterranean breeze. It has a richness, a robustness to complement its elegance, a complexity to balance its direct pleasures. It's delicious now, of course, but it's very much a rosé that will deepen with a few years in the cellar, if you happen to forget a bottle somewhere dark and out of reach.

The unique color and taste reflect Pradeaux’s throwback approach. They work with a light touch. They use grapes grown for rosé — this rosé isn't a by-product of red wine making — and they press them quickly to get only a very fine extraction of color and flavor.

It's a wine that manages one of those very special balances, between intensity and delicacy, base and treble, sheer pleasure and complexity. 

Château Pradeaux, Bandol Rosé, 2023 $29.99


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