11 February 2017

Rosé at another level- the beguiling blush of Bandol.

For the past few years the Rosé Revolution has crashed through to see Australians blissfully embrace rosé wine by the chilled, pink, bucket load.  Even in France, white wine consumption now comes second to rosé and in particular from Provence in the South of France, the traditional home of rosé.

The sunny wine of the South of France and the sunny lifestyle of beach hugging Australians are simpatico. Aussie sun, seafood, BBQ and a crisp refreshing Provençal rosé...can it get much better?

Well, it can! For heightened indulgence, there is the lip-smacking inner sanctum of Provençal wines that come from the Bandol region perched on the glittering Mediterranean coast.

West of Toulon, near the coast east of Marseille and Cassis, the Bandol wine region boasts sun baked, south-facing hills surrounding the fishing village of Bandol. Here the region’s three classic grapes mourvèdre, cinsault and grenache soak up some 320 days of sun a year. 

Mourvèdre (a.k.a mataro or monastrell) is the mainstay grape of Bandol. With the influence of the region’s unique terroir of soil, position and climate, it gives Bandol rosé wines a beguiling and unique texture and depth of flavour. A rosé to contemplate. 

Premium winery, Domaine de Frégate lies between the towns of Bandol and Saint Cyr sur Mer in the hinterland of a cape enjoying views of the Mediterranean.  

While the Frégate label is emblazoned with the image of an historic three masted frigate, the word frégate has its origins in the local dialect for a more agricultural pursuit.  The name comes from the Provençal word fregato which means to break the rocks to allow growth. This is a reference to the local limestone bedrock, whose properties imbue the grapes with the beguiling style and flavour that is typically Bandol. 

Above ground these broken rocks are the basis for the famous Bandol “restanques”, lines of low, dry-stone walls erected by generations of farmers to follow the contours of the terrain to make the challenging steep slopes cultivable land.  Among these distinctive “restanques”, Domaine de Frégate’s vineyards enjoy exposure to the south and west where warm temperatures meet a cool sea breeze. All its wines are produced from the fruit of the Domaine’s own vineyards in clay/limestone soil. 

Domaine de Frégate’s Bandol rosé is salmon pink in colour made of 50% mourvèdre, 25% cinsault and 25% grenache.  It seductively expresses the complex characteristics of the terroir, with a nose of citrus, red fruits and spices, finishing dry with a vein of steely minerality. Once picked (by hand) the grapes undergo direct pressing, remaining on their skins for only a day, before the light pink juices enter the temperature controlled stainless steel fermentation tanks. The  finished rosé is bottled just prior for sale from 1 March, as is the Bandol AOC stipulation.

If you like provençal rosé, this is rosé at another level! 

Bandol’s Domaine de Frégate rosé and a range of Provençal rosés is available in Australia online delivered to your door at www.discovervin.com.au

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