A Voyage to Marseille: Wines of Bandol, Palette and Provence; Dinner at Racines NY, Tuesday May 24th!

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A visit to Marseille has many rewards including of course the superb seafood-based cuisine of this vibrant city, the beautiful coastline "calanques" and beaches around Cassis, the Falaises Soubeyranes, the hill towns above Bandol and the beautiful countryside of Provence heading north towards Aix. The distinctive wines of this beautiful region are particularly delicious during warmer weather and as we finally reach more Mediterranean temperatures we offer a few of our favorite wines from Provence, Palette, Cassis and Bandol. Chef Frédéric Duca of Racines NY, who was born and raised in Marseille and who worked in many of the finest restaurants in Marseille and Cannes, will offer an homage to the cuisine of his home town on Tuesday, May 24th, accompanied by wines from Domaine Tempier, Clos Ste Magdeleine, Chateau Simone and Domaine Bastide Blanche among others. This promises to be one of the most enjoyable culinary events of the year! ($175 all inculsive; Menu at www.racinesny.com. For reservations please contact the restaurant at 212-227-3400 or info@racinesny.com; or purchase below.)

Of particular note are the reasonably priced and outstanding organic wines of Domaine Bastide Blanche in Le Castelet, Bandol. The estate was established in 1972 by the Bronzo family, and features excellent vineyard work, now certified organic and moving towards Biodynamic, careful hand-harvesting and slow fermentations with wild yeasts. Picking is especially careful here, with three different sortings before the grapes enter the cellar. The vines average between 30 and 60 years of age, predominantly Mourvedre with small quantities of Cinsault and Grenache for the reds and rosés with Clairette, Ugni Blanc, Bourboulenc and Sauvignon for the white. The reds here are quite elegant and enjoyable as young wines with the capability to age well for ten to twenty years. The rosé is simply delicious and the white is a lively combination of richness and freshness that accompanies a wide variety of cuisines - we hope you try them all!  (2010 Bastide Blanche Rouge was # 2 overall and "Best Value" in the New York Times "Taming of the Bestial Bandol," March 2014)

The Cap Canaille, from Clos Ste. Magdeleine

 

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La Bastide Blanche 2015 Bandol Rose

A beautiful Bandol rosè, primarily Mourvedre with Cinsault and Grenache. The Mourvedre is pressed and run off directly, the Cinsault and Grenache undergo 24 hours of skin contact. Certified organic grapes from the Bronzo family vineyard in Le Castellet. This is a complex, perfectly balanced wine with lovely aromas of red-currant, peach, blood orange, rose and spice. The palate is dense with creamy berry fruit, citrus and stone flavors, ripe and full with bright balancing acidity with terrific density and length. Delicious now, this will improve over the next few years -  perfect with grilled tuna, Salade Nicoise, pork and chicken, bouillabaisse, of course, and mild cheeses.

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

La Bastide Blanche 2013 Bandol Blanc

The Bronzo family at La Bastide Blanche make a tiny quantity of lovely Bandol Blanc, primarily Clairette and Ugni Blanc, with Bourboulenc and Sauvignon. 48 hours of skin contact followed by a slow pressing, normally without the malolactic fermentation. The aromas are very citrusy and bright with lime-flower, fresh herbs and white fruits. The palate is dense with mineral, herbal, citrus, anise and pear flavors with nice lingering fruit in the supple, balanced finish. This is a lovely and somewhat unusual wine, perfect with any fish soup, full-flavored fish dishes, lighter chicken and pork dishes, Asian foods and goat cheeses.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $22.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Bastide Blanche 2013 Bandol Rouge

Michel and Louis Bonzo acquired this estate in 1970 which is situated in St. Anne de Castellet, an area in Bandol with a terroir rich in limestone. This terroir, along with the estate’s desire for maintaining low yields each vintage (never more than 34 or 35 hl/ha), gives structure, balance, and elegance to these wines. Their Bandol Rouge is a blend of Mourvedre, Grenache, and Cinsault and the nose offers classic Bandol funk with layers of sappy blackberry fruit, dark cherries, garrigue, citrus balm, and licorice. With time in the glass, there are succulent aromas of blueberry, vanilla, cinnamon, and a tinge of peppered beef. Chewy, blue-fruited, and with sultry tannins on the palate, this wine is at once ripe and juicy yet structured, possessing a tantalizing savory streak with a touch of cedar and spice. Suggestions of peach skin and citrus zest emerge on the finish with gobs of blackberry. This wine is a joy to drink now, but can certainly age for 5-10 years. Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $26.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Bastide Blanche 2012 Bandol Cuvee Fontaneou

The Cuvee Fontaneou is made of 100% Mourvedre sourced from a single parcel of vines. Plump, juicy berry aromas rise from the glass along with dark plum, curry-spiced beef, underbrush, oiled leather, and cassis. Seriously enticing. Big and bold on the palate with blackberries and herbs coming forward with a touch of spice and ripe tannins. Freshness is key, and it has a lifted acidity to carry it through onto the supple, fruity finish. This is certainly age-worthy, and it would be very fun to drink in 10-15 years! Tim Gagnon

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Clos Ste Magdeleine 2013 Cassis Blanc

This fresh and complex Cassis Blanc is from 45% Marsanne, 30% Ugni Blanc, 20% Clairette and 5% Bourboulenc farmed organically on terraces of clay/limestone below the Cap Canaille. From the estate's web-site: "Some connoisseurs appreciate this white wine well balanced. It's aniseed-flavoured freshness and salted touches, it offers a vigorous and material taste over flavors becoming honeyed and finally iodized. This straw-colored wine evolves softly to tastes of acacia and peach syrup. Delicately balanced when in mouth, this wine is required on your table from to-day. White of gastronomy, it will perfectly come with fish, seafood, bouillabaisse and goat's cheese. And you'll be surprised with spicy food and sushi." We agree - it's required on your table from to-day! Seriously, it's a lovely wine that will perfectly accompany a bouillabaisse, monkfish, halibut, swordfish and any mild cheeses, not to mention quite delicious by itself on a hot summer day!

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $27.49

  • Organic

Simone (Chateau) 2009 Palette Blanc

From 50 to 100+ year-old vines on north facing slopes of the Massif du Montaiguet near Aix-en-Provence  on subsoils of limestone with clay, stones and gravel, surrounded by forest with great diversity of flora and fauna. 80% Clairette, with Grenache Blanc, Ugni Blanc, Bourboulenc and Muscat, grown without herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Hand harvesting, wild yeast fermentations, 18 month elevage. Drinking beautifully now, the 2009 is a young wine that will develop a deep golden color and more complex aromas over the next 20 years. 200 cases for the US.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $59.99

Simone (Chateau) 2014 Palette Rosé

45% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault, 20% Syrah, with Castet, Manosquin, Carignan, Muscat Noir & Blanc. From direct press, partially de-stemmed, and from saignee, aged in small foudres. "Aged in barrel, it is powerful and age-worthy with a steely character and a grey-tinted aura to the faded rose-petal robe." 1500 bottles for the US.

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $54.99

Les Fouques 2015 Côtes de Provence l'Aubigue Rosé

This is my candidate for Best Rosé Value of the Year! Made from 60% Cinsault, 30% Grenache and 10% Syrah by Yves Gros and family on their beautiful Biodynamic estate near Hyères in Provence. Great farming and natural wild-yeast fermentation yields this lovely wine which is particularly delicious in the 2015 vintage. Complex, subtle aromas of peach, raspberry, rose, stone and Provençal herbs, really pretty, leading to peach and berry fruit on the palate with mineral and citrus flavors. Light but dense with great balance and fabulous length. This is a wonderful rosé to enjoy by itself and with enough depth to accompany almost anything from seafood to salads to grilled chicken or pork.

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $13.49

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Les Fouques 2014 Côtes de Provence La Londe Rosé

The 2014 Rosé La Lande is a beautiful wine and a real rosé of terroir! Made from 70% Cinsault and 10% each of Grenache, Syrah and Vermentino, the 2014 La Londe is a lovely pale pink color with subtle aromas of peach skin, raspberry and rose. The palate is light, balanced and long with red and yellow fruits, citrus, spice and saline mineral flavors. Drinking beautifully now, it will improve over the next year or two and accompany an elegant ceviche, fish or chicken, salads and mild cheeses. Great sipped by itself as well, really delicious and highly recommended! (July 2015) Tasted again in May of 2016, the 2014 La Londe is drinking beautifully in an extremely dry and mineral style, showing elegant hints of fruit and mineral flavors and fabulous depth on the palate that should continue to develop over the next two to three years.

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $15.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic

Gourgonnier 2015 Les Baux de Provence Rosé

This is a consistently lovely Provencal rosé from a wonderful estate near Les Baux, certified organic for more than 30 years. (www.gourgonnier.com) Lovely aromas of berry fruits, peach and citrus. Refreshing, light-bodied palate with raspberry, citrus and mineral flavors finishing with crisp acidity. Showing well already, The 2015 should improve throughout the summer and will accompany a salade nicoise, chicken, full-flavored fish and lighter grilled meats. 

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic

Pibarnon 2015 Bandol Rosé

This wine has a wonderful ability to combine elegance, power, class, and distinction. A blend of Mourvedre and Cinsault the wine shows citrus, peach-y and stone fruit notes on the nose, mingling with the savory earth and iodine character of good Bandol Rosé. The 2015 shows a bit more density than usual - the palate offers silky textures, a certain voluptuousness, and a lovely balance of acidity to full ripe fruit with terrific length.  It's bound to improve over the next few months, not to mention the next few years!

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $29.99