Bandol Saturday Tasting

Provence has a number of more specific appellations, of which the most important is Bandol, known principally for its characterful, warmly spicy oaked reds made predominantly from Mourvèdre and dry rosés made mainly from Cinsaut and Grenache. So warm is the climate here right on terraces immediately above the coast, sheltered from the piercing local wind, the mistral, that this late-ripening variety can, unusually in France, be relied upon to ripen almost every year. The reds are ripe and lush enough to be enjoyed in youth but the best also have the capacity for long ageing. Domaine Tempier is the best-known producer but there is a remarkably high general standard among Bandol producers including Domaine de la Bégude, Châteaux La Rouvière, Pibarnon, Pradeaux, Domaine la Tour du Bon and Château Vannières. JANCIS ROBINSON