Very pale garnet rosé with light bricking. Ripe strawberries and sweet liquorice dominate the nose, assisted by herbs, meaty mineral and spice. Rich in flavour, quite dense and full-bodied for a rosé at 12,5% ABV, the acidity somewhat embedded at this stage. Just as expected from a TLZ wine, quality is outstanding, but the big issue here is the obvious malolactic fudge/caramel flavour (think German oaked Spätburgunder) which makes the taste slightly sweet and cloying. The Karmin 4 had none of this, and it isn't likely to go away with age either. A stylistic problem that finally makes us pass on buying more. First bummer from the otherwise brilliant Strohmeier.
Maturing nose: blonde tobacco, saddle leather, rusty nails, roast beef, sweet oak, plums, cherries and balsamic herbs. Quite soft for a bandol, with melted tannins, moderate freshness, and perceived sweetness. The finish is slightly warming at only 13,5%, according to the label. This isn't lacking in fruit, rather in structure, in our opinion. Stylewise, oak sweetness is a feature that seems quite unnecessary for a bandol (here a mix of foudres and barriques). More than ready to consume, but well cellared, bottles should keep for another five if one appreciates tertiary notes.