The appellation, a small enclave adjacent to Côtes de
Provence, takes its name from the small fishing village of Bandol,
which was once a port that flourished with the region’s wine trade. The
area has a long history of wine production and, since the phylloxera
epidemic in the late 18th century, has concentrated its efforts on the Mouvèdre grape.
This late-season red grape has always been grown in the area and is well suited
to the terroir in Bandol.
Bandol is predominantly coastal. The soils (consisting of limestone and
silicon) are dry but the vineyards (usually planted on hilltops) receive
moisture from rain and the sea. Mechanical harvesting is banned throughout the
Bandol growers have the saying ‘one vine, one bottle’;
indeed, the region has the lowest yields in France. But the area has
established a reputation, that goes beyond the French borders, as the best
ambassador of quality wine for Provence.
Bandol red is Mourvèdre-dominated, stimulating, mouth-filling,
flavoursome, well-structured and age-worthy. The wine is distinguished by deep
colour and intense flavours of black fruit, vanilla, spicy concentration and
meaty notes. It is aged in oak for 18 months and drinks well from an
early age, but has the potential to improve for up to a decade.
Bandol also produces a small quantity of white wines -consumed locally-
(mostly from Clairette, Bourboulenc and Ugni Blanc) and
earthy rosés (mainly from Grenache and