Bandol de facture moderne déjà très ouvert. Aucun dépôt dans la bouteille malgré le fait que le vin fut mis en bouteille sans collage ni filtration. Il faut aussi dire qu'avec ses 46 mois en foudre, il n'est pas en bouteille depuis très longtemps. Belle bouteille!
Garnet to dark garnet color in the glass, clear looking throughout. Nose of tobacco, smoke, pepper, berries and cherries. Flavors of rich berries, cherries and raspberries. Bright acidity, medium to firm tannin, full bodied. Drink with air over the next 3-5 years.
OK, before I get onto all the weird split personality stuff let me say one thing that is manifestly brilliant about this wine: it will age amazingly well. Give it five or more years and it’ll develop into a soft, scented lovely of grace and charm. It’ll be gorgeous. Right, ready for the insanity? OK, let’s go!
From drinking a lot of 2001 and some 2004 Pradeaux I am used to them being booze-fuelled monsters of terrific tannin and general terror. They were brilliant, old fashioned Bandol that you had to lay down for decades and hope or attack with large knives in the hope of breaking up some of those gum-bleeding polyphenol chains. This is… er… um… NICE! What’s happened? It’s still pretty tannic but those tannins are soft, not powerful enough to turn an entire cow into leather just by showing it the bottle. The booze level is quite moderate too; it’s not going to explode if you put it into a centrally heated room. There’s proper grilled-meat Bandol fruit, but it is sedate and mellow, not spikey and aggressively powerful. This is ALL WRONG. And what is perhaps most wrong of all is that I really, really like it… OOoooohhh… the shame… I feel I am committing some cosmic crime for liking a Bandol that is not as wacked out as the appellation, and this producer in particular, can produce. If someone asked me for a pleasing Bandol wine they could try so see if they liked the appellation I’d recommend this in a grasshopper’s trill. I would then seethe and gnash my teeth that I’d suggested something quite so wonderfully tasty and not a raw Bandol fighting wine experience. This is the best young Bandol I’ve had in years and I will be buying more of it, but couldn’t it just have been a little more frightening? If you do get some definitely age a bottle or two (see above), wines at this price will rarely age with such grace, harmony, refinement and not petrifying terror. Brilliant but… AAAARGH… different and… double AAARGH… better!
Just as an aside, The Editor said, “This is the best bottle of Pradeaux you’ve ever opened; it’s nice and I don’t feel I have to fight it.”
I read a note on a wine BB that this was open for business and thought to myself, “That can’t be true.” I couldn’t get the thought out of my mind, so I grabbed a bottle from the shop and took it for dinner at Vin Rouge with my hachis parmentier. I’ll be damned if that wasn’t 100% correct. This was more open than any young Pradeaux Bandol I’ve ever had. Hands down. Full of leathery, dark red fruits with that typical tree bark woodsyness that I associate with this wine. Really and truly sauvage and animale, without being dirty or bretty. OK, so this is still Pradeaux Bandol, so it’s not without structure, but it isn’t a mouthful of sand. It opens to show some of the garrigue and lavender you’d expect and served a nice foil to the hearty simple food. Really a dynamite bottle that should easily improve for 5-10 years and last who knows how long. Well, the internet is good for something I guess.
Off the list at Gramercy. I was surprised how well this was already drinking. Herbs and spices with cherry notes. A sense of rusticity both on the nose and palate with a light, but interesting, stemmy/leafy note. Slightly grainy texture, it is a beautiful, old school Bandol with generous fruit, great structure and already showing tertiary notes. Rustic. Really good !
Deep ruby color. A gorgeous, animal wine - not two adjectives that typically go together. Deep red and black fruit character with some rubber and cinnamon spice. Really deep and enveloping. Intensity continues to the rough and raw palate. There is so much inner energy and pure fruit that I can say with confidence that this wine will be a winner in 10 to 15 years. (93+)