Bandol, the “Grand Cru” of Provence

May 28, 2021

Far from the prestigious wine regions of Burgundy and Bordeaux, a Cru from the south of France has become the reference for Provence wines and has risen to the rank of one of the best Crus in France : Bandol.

Focus on an exceptional terroir which is the finest expression of Mourvèdre.

 

Geography

Bandol is a wine appellation located on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, in the wine region of Provence. Its vineyard stretches across 1,600 ha over eight villages in the Var: Bandol, Le Beausset, La Cadière-d’Azur, Le Castellet, Évenos, Ollioules, Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer and Sanary

The vineyard of Bandol is a gorgeous amphitheater where the vines are planted on terraces and descend towards the sea.

 

Climate & Terroir

The region enjoys a Mediterranean climate. The sunshine is ideal there, with more than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year, mild temperatures and sufficient rainfall.

The proximity to the sea and its maritime influence tempers the heat of summer days.

The mistral allows the vineyard and its ambient humidity to dry out. This allows the grapes to reach their degree of ripeness without any problem.

The Bandol terroir is made up of very stony, silico-limestone soils with some sandy marls and sandstones.  These soils are very rich in minerals which will help retain humidity in the soil, and therefore fight against drought.

An historic AOP

Bandol became an AOC on November 11, 1941 : it’s one of the oldest French appellations.

The appellation is regulated by very rigorous specifications, which notably impose the following rules:

– 50% of the Mourvèdre grape variety is required in red wines, up to a maximum of 95%

– 18 months of ageing in wood for the reds, 6 months for the whites and rosés.

– 40 hL / ha maximum yield

– manual harvest is mandatory

The king Mourvèdre

Bandol wines can produce the three colors: Red, Rosé and White. The production is about 70% rosé, 25% red and 5% white.

However, Bandol red is the spearhead of the AOC.

Mourvèdre is the flagship grape variety of the Bandol appellation. Its maturity is late and its culture very challenging. It is the chief grape in the blend of red wines, from 50 to 95%, combined, depending on each winemaker, with Grenache and Cinsault.

With a minimum of 18 months’ ageing in wood, Bandol reds are powerful wines, with a great character and with an extraordinary aging potential (up to more than 20 years).

At each stage of their evolution, wines deliver a different personality. 

First, in their youth, aromas of black fruits, violet, liquorice and empyreumatic notes.

Then, as it ages, they develop flavours of  jam, undergrowth, leather and truffle.

 

1 AOP = 12 Grape Varieties

Twelve grape varieties, including Mourvèdre, can be used in the Bandol AOP.

Fo white wines : Clairette, Rolle, Bourboulenc, Marsanne, Sauvignon, Sémillon, Ugni Blanc

For red wines and rosés : Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, Carignan

 

MTE is pleased to work with Domaine Ray Jane, a 30 ha estate, producing organic wines from Bandol.

Domaine Ray Jane was created in 1970 by Raymond and Jane Constant who united the lands of their winemakers ancestors.

A true family history that has been passed down for more than 700 years.

A philosophy and a quality in harmony with the values of MTE.

 

 

Click and read the infographic :

https://mtevins.fr/bandol-the-grand-cru-of-provence-2/