Chateau Pradeaux Bandol Rouge 2015
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Varietals: Mourvèdre 95%, Grenache 5%.
This is a wine of ferocious tannin in its youth, even after its prolonged respite in foudres. That aging helps coax it from its tannic cocoon, revealing an astounding complexity of flavor and aroma. The nose evokes honey and white flowers with a hint of animal fur; the color is ruby red; the fruit stains the palate; and the finish brings dusty, ripe tannins. Eric Asimov, wine critic of The New York Times, adds, “Perhaps no Bandol is as resolutely old school as Château Pradeaux. It’s an uncompromising wine, displaying Bandol in its fully untamed state ... tannic yet com- plex, with bright flavors of dark fruit, earth, leather and citrus.”
There is the appellation of Bandol with its plethora of producers, some good, some mediocre; and then there is Château Pradeaux, the unique, inimitable, standard-bearer for this ancient wine-growing district. The Château Pradeaux is situated on the outskirts of the town of Saint Cyr-sur-Mer that lies directly on the Mediterranean Ocean between Toulon and Marseilles. The estate has been in the hands of the Portalis family since before the French Revolution. In fact, Jean-Marie-Etienne Portalis, who inherited the estate in 1752, helped draft the Napoleonic Code and assisted at the negotiation of the Concordat under Napoleon the First. The estate was devastated during the French Revolution and suffered the effects of the phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century. Suzanne Portalis and her daughter, Arlette, retreated to the domaine during World War II and undertook to revive the domaine. The domaine is currently under the direction of Cyrille Portalis, the sole direct descendant of Suzanne and Arlette. He continues to maintain the great traditions of this estate and is assisted by his wife, Magali, and now his two sons, Etienne and Edouard.