Bandol On The Run

Medium garnet, crystal clear and moderately staining.  Overt eucalyptus dominates the nose, a peppermint-patty bright note rising out of the burnt chocolate sweet-gum fire that is the bouquet.  Silky Naugahyde upholstery-shop settles out to a muddy stream of brake-dust runoff.

Who doesn’t love Bandol.  I think it is probably everybody’s first glimpse of Mourvedre–even if at their Bandol-cherry-popping they did not realize they were swilling Mourvedre.  This little darling is indeed a bargain, has a cheesy little label I could totally see being vin de la maison at a resty in Nice–alongside matching vin blanc and vin rosé.  It is not a particularly elegant wine–rough-smelling, sweaty and unctuous, a night-emollient on a festering eucalyptus sore.  But like almost all wines from sunny France-Sud, there is silent charm in the country.

In the mouth, thinnish plummy fruit fights hard to overcome a streak of acid and tannin early and strong, merciless to any pleasures of sweetness of fruit you might have fantasized over.  Rich over the early tongue, showing a glimpse of cherry, varnish and cat-shit, but immediately, the eucalyptus begins as a flavor and crescendos to full-on burn.

This wine is fun to drink, but I can’t whole-heartedly recommend it.  If you are a winemaker or well-rounded snob or collector, yes–there are large parcels of wine-appreciation real estate here to love and learn from.  But for joe-blow consumer it will prove a sure failure.

2012 DOMAINE LA GALANTIN Bandol France 13.5

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