Wine Review: Les Adret’s Bandol Rouge 2016
Producer: Moulin de La Roque
Region: Bandol, France
Grape: 95% Mourvèdre 5% Cairgnan
ABV: 14.5 %
Moulin de la Roque’s Les Adret’s Bandol Rouge is a fantastic and versatile bottle of wine, perfectly reflecting the terroir and climate that shaped it. Surrounded by the Mediterenean and the Massif de la Sante-Baume mountain range, Bandol provides a diverse variety of soils, altitudes, and other climate factors. As with much of the region, Les Adret’s Bandol Rouge is largely a Mourvedre blend and proves to be a beautiful, adventurous representation of the grape. Cherries, herbs, wood, and dirt come together to make up one lovely funk of a wine. Whether you are new to the region or have drank your way through Bandol, there is something in this bottle for every French wine lover.
Bandol is a small AOC within the Provence AOC on the southeastern coast of France. Only around 33 miles (54 km) from Marseille and even closer to Toulon, the region sits on the Mediterenean coast alongside Cotes de Provence and the equally famous Cassis appellation. Bandol is known for its rich, earthy red blends largely made from Mouvdre as well as its rosé.
Moulin de la Roque’s Les Adret’s Bandol Rouge is produced from grapes grown in specific plots in the eight communes of Bandol. The region as a whole is known for receiving some of the most sunlight in all of France. ‘Les Adrets’, loosely translated into “Sunny Side”, symbolizes this as the grapes are planted on slopes facing the sun. Due to the soils being rough, arid, and less than ideal, the vines have to work and strain to produce many of their grapes. Many producers in Bandol pride themselves on persisting through the rough growing conditions, and Les Adret’s Bandol is the perfect example as to why.
Mouvedre is a versatile and adventurous grape with its history dating back to the Phonecians. Depending on the region, it goes by a few names. In Provence, Rhone, and other regions of France, it is usually called Mouvedre. While in parts of Spain, it is referred to as Monastrell and Alicante. Depending on the terroir, aging, and a variety of other factors, Mouvedre can give off a ridiculous amount of aromas and flavors. It tends to have very high tannins, fairly high acidity, and be full-bodied. There tends to be a balance of plum, blackberry, and even blueberry notes countered by herbal, floral, smokey, and meaty notes.
The nose starts off with a perfumey cherry and blackberry notes, and these are accompanied by savory notes of earthy dirt and freshly chopped wood. Under these aromas, there are soft oaky, and leathery hints as well.
As the wine opens up, the fruits become richer and deeper. These are met with fresh pepper and woodsy cedar aromas. These notes blend together for an intense, perfumey bottle.
Many of the aromas translate to the tongue in a more noticeable and specific manner. The red and dark fruits are apparent from the start, though they are already balanced, calm, and tasty. There is a surprising, though welcomed, amount of upfront pepper and baking spices. These tasty notes are rounded out by a gamey, mushroom, woodsy undertone.
As the wine aerates, the perfume of the wine only intensifies. A slight, refreshing hint of mint comes around, and the rest of the notes only become more vibrant and rich. The tannins integrate increasingly well and help pull this beautiful, chaotic funk of a wine together.
Moulin de la Roque is a wild, beautiful adventure. For many wine drinkers, Bandol will be something completely new. For those already familiar with the region, this will be a reminder of Bandol’s greatness and versatility. Bandol wine is something I am always on the lookout for, as each one I drink tends to be very unique and representative of those that make it. Be on the lookout for more Bandol reviews as there are a couple more red Bandol bottles coming and even a white