Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2009 Bandol

2009 Les Hauts de Seignol Bandol

2009 Château Val d'Arenc Le Hauts de Seignol | AC Bandol

What a slap in the face. I didn't know the French could be so shameless; the fact that these people dare to put Bandol on the label is a big wet fart in the face of all the true Bandol wines. Unbelievable. So many cellarmasters over so many generations have worked so hard to make this region and these wines the quality they are today that these examples are almost shocking.

Bandol wines must be made with a minimum of 50% mourvèdre. Such an aggressive varietal, dark and tannic. Nearly undrinkable in its youth, massively structured and impenetrable. With ten years, these wines open up to savoury, leathery notes, with the best examples retaining a lovely freshness and floral character. I adore these wines, as they demand patience . . . at least the true wines do.

Most insulting, however, has to be the tasting note provided by the Vintages Panel. Read and be in awe of the leaden Vintages palate (or corporate bullshit, whatever you like):

This Mourvèdre-dominated wine has a marvellously concentrated nose of black cherry, red fruits, smoke and vanilla...This is archetypical Bandol, and a perfect match for gourmet burgers or grilled steaks...

This here, I don't know what the fuck this is, or what it's supposed to be imitating. Cheap, macerated fruit, candied and all that mess. I don't give a shit if it's something out of Australia or whatever, but these small regions are supposed to be the last bastion of true, authentic wines. If they start going, then we really are lost. What a fucking shame.



  1. Excellent post. To me, their description is incredibly generic, and any time the word "vanilla" is used to describe ANY wine, especially a wine like Bandol, it's a sign that the wine is probably made in the insipid global style.

    Bandol should be dark and brooding. Bandol should make you think. It should make you a little bit afraid.

  2. Thanks bro. Definitely, Bandol should inspire a bit of fear, a bit of mystery