2017 Domaine de la Suffrene Bandol Rose
For those of you addicted to the wonderful lantana and mineral-scented dry Roses of Bandol, we’re sorry if your favorites have already disappeared for the season. But, have no fear, reinforcements have arrived in the form of our best-selling Rose of the past three years, Domaine Suffrene. One of the smallest, most interesting properties in Bandol, Domaine Suffrene sits at 300 meters, some 30 kilometers over the port of Cassis on the Mediterranean coast. The vines, planted and harvested ‘selection massale,’ range from 40 to 75 years old and consist of roughly 40% Mourvedre, 30% Cinsault, 20% Grenache and 10% Carignan.
Organically farmed, the wine is fermented on its indigenous yeast and its subsequent malo-lactic fermentation is stopped from occurring in the cellar. The wine is, in 2017, absolutely sensational, albeit in smaller quantities than some previous vintages. It’s higher toned, less earthy and more intensely mineral than, say, the more voluptuous (and recently sold) Chateau Pradeaux. The Suffrene features a very bright, very appealing citrus quality and is focused on its highly nuanced lantana, blood orange, wild strawberry and yellow cherry flavors, along with a tangy, minerally acidity. If Bandol Rose were a church choir, this would be the tenor that hits all the high notes!
Yummy, yummy stuff and a very, very good value! Wife Anne, the final arbiter of all things vinous at Chez Rittmaster, told me to bring home a case of the 2017 and I wouldn’t dream of disappointing her!
**** Arugulas, **+ Hammocks on PRIMA’s scientific Rose scale.