Chateau Pradeaux 'Cuvee X' Bandol Rouge, Provence, France 2007$ 180.00
This is a special cuvée of Bandol never made before! It's got a borderline-ridonculous TEN years of aging in barrel before bottling; the 2007 vintage is one of the greatest; this wine is a beast with a lot to boast about, so here's what make Pradeaux especially unique in Bandol (nerd stuff ahead):
Full stem inclusion. Most Bandol is entirely destemmed these days, which alters the the wine's character dramatically.
Very. Long. Elevage. In barrel (neutral, of varying sizes).
Almost entirely (95%) Mourvèdre (which is another reason the dang wine NEEDS all that time to mellow out some of the ferocious tannins). Most Bandol is much less Mourvèdre (only 50% is even required).
This is an incredible wine from one of the most idiosyncratic winemaking estates in Europe! Maybe no other Bandol is as stubbornly old school as Pradeaux. This wine is uncompromising, untamed, and soulful. The Portalis family has owned the estate for more than 250 years and refuses to change its methods.
In its youth, it is a dark and savage red, but it is now emerging as a bewitching, willing creature with purple flowers and softer tannins to present. It is a wild one that tastes like the past, intact.