2020 Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé
2020 Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé

A Thanksgiving Wine Ode to the Flamboyant Centerpiece

325 Words (Or So) on Letting Our Eyes Feast As Well

3 min read

If you are serious about wine (like I am suppose to be) than you would never devote an entire article to the look of a wine. Eyes can be deceived — one’s conscience would whisper in the ear — and with that deception comes a corruption of the other senses. You are only saying strawberry because the wine is strawberry colored …

The carnelian color alone would have inspired Bob Ross to get his brushes.

But for this feast — with its flurry of passing plates, its clash of savory-tart-sweet-salty-bitter flavors, its insufferableness when the conversation turns to a certain relative’s politics and embrace of conspiracy theories — allow us this one opportunity to be fixated on the wine bottle and its contents as a pleasing, flamboyant centerpiece of distraction. For that, you can do no better than the rosé wines from the older estates in Provence, like the beautiful bottles from Château Simone, Clos Cibonne and this wine, from Bandol’s Château Pradeaux.

Never mind the high-octane power lent to this wine by Mourvèdre — the bad boy grape of Bandol whose potent flavors, even in rosé form, are akin to a throaty rev of a Harley-Davidson. And never mind the wine’s natural bona fides (it’s organic, yes, but also sheep graze in the vineyards to reduce the need for herbicides). The Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé looks amazing. The carnelian color alone would have inspired Bob Ross to get his brushes. And the label art — certainly that is not popcorn popping from a castle turret? Oh, it’s lilies! — could easily hold one’s attention through Great Uncle Roger’s rant about Stop the Steal.

I’m a professional (well, most of the time … Not on this holiday). I can assure you that the contents of this wine, tasted in late summer next to a few other Provence rosé, more than backup the look. It’s powerful, mineral, savory and with a clean, lingering aftertaste — which is more than most of its Provençal brethren can say on the finish. Get some and feast your eyes.

2020 Château Pradeaux Bandol Rosé

2020 Château Pradeaux Bandol RoséBandol DOC (Provence) 
Grapes: Cinsault (50%), Mourvèdre (50%)
Alcohol: 13.5%
Opinion: ★★★★ 1/2 (out of five)
Food-friendliness: Versatile
Value: As expected

         

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A beginner might like … rebooting their expectations of Provençal rosé. There are a few estates (two others mentioned above) who aim for power, complexity and endurance with their rosé. At first-taste they might even be overwhelmingly unexpected. But give them time and you start sensing new textures and new flavors. I found the fruit tones with this wine to be pleasingly sour-sweet with just a faint suggestion of thyme, too.

A wine obsessive might like … flirting with the idea of aging this rosé. It certainly has the structure and intensity to go several years if properly stored. Just be mindful of that clear glass bottle.

 

Note: This wine was purchased with funds from our editorial budget, which is replenished annually by your subscription. On behalf of me and my palate, we thank you.

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