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Poinsot (La Badiane) Bandol, Cuvee Mourvegue: 2001

April 21, 2008

~US$25, 100% Mourvedre, Bandol

I’m usually pretty regret-free and open-minded when it comes to wines – if something I buy doesn’t resonate with me, I can usually imagine/rationalize a ‘right’ situation for the wine – be it more age, food pairings, certain company, etc. so it’s rarely a total loss. Then came along this wine.

The Bandol region in southeast France is known for sturdy, rustic, beastly red wines made primarily from the Mourvedre grape. They also produce world-class Roses – but most are snatched and drunk before they make it to my side of the pond. The lower-tier Bandol reds tend to be more accessible in their youth, so I popped and poured this 2001. Deep deep garnet color. The nose is shy – with black fruits and some soapy, floral flavors hiding in a cloud of alcohol.

Structurally there is decent weight and hint of tannic grip, but the flavors are where everything turns south. Cloying soapy perfume – motor oily and very bitter, the fruit just disappears. There is stale cocoa powder mixed with wet fur (Mourvedre’s gaminess can be really appealing in the right expression) in the midpalate, which is awkward. The alcohol heats everything up and emphasized the bitterness. There is a slight minerality to the end of the finish that is almost distinctive, but the net impression is unpleasant. While this may have sustained heat damage or flaws – it feels to me like this wine was over-manipulated and over-extracted, masking fruit impurities.

My palate changes, like everyone else who drinks wine. I’ve tasted several wines that I wasn’t into at the time, but know I would love now (Ester Nin’s Vinya del Taus 2004 comes to mind) – this seems different. Just unpleasant and uninspiring. Pass on this producer, but I will try some others, and any Roses I can get my hands on.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. hilyer68 permalink
    April 23, 2008 5:44 pm

    Great wine writing – love the metaphors. Don’t know this one but my ‘wine circle’ fiends tasted Provence last year and found the Bandols absolutely stunning (we usually show a preference for big right-bank Bordeaux). Have you tried Gros Nor√©? Tasting notes on cellartracker.

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