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Chateau Saint Anne, Bandol 2012
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Chateau Saint Anne, Bandol 2012

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In a region justifiably renowned for its rosé wines, it is too often assumed that the reds and whites of Provence shine less brightly. Here in Portland, as the wet leaves continue to color our sidewalks and we're forced to contend with the chilly shards of wind, there is no better time of year to experience these unheralded red gems. Personally, the wines of Bandol feel as snug and comforting to me as my favorite black hoodie.

A gorgeous example entering its prime drinking window came to us this week from one of our favorite estates: Château Saint Anne. Perfectly balanced, this Bandol satifies our cravings for heartier wine, while not overwhelming the palate with too much concentration. Opening beautifully with comforting notes of blackberry compote, figs, and lavendar that hover over evolved notes of garrigue, teriyaki, turmeric, leather, cigar box and cinder. The once sharp acidity is now rounded and melts into a plush velvet-like mouth feel that slowly descends towards integrated savory tannins. The complex finish is incedibly lengthy leaving behind an earthy, slightly spicy and smoky impression.

About The Producer

Château Sainte Anne was among the founders of the natural wine movement, and has followed organic, biodynamic and natural agriculture and winemaking since the 1960s. The vineyards of this 15-hectare estate are situated on steep, terraced slopes just a few kilometers from the Mediterranean, where the sea breezes create a microclimate that moderates the hot summers and permits a relatively low level of alcohol. The old vines, all Goblet pruned, range from 35-85 years of age, and are grown in chalky limestone soil with a southeastern exposition. 75% of the production is red, 20% rosé and 5% white.