Chateau Pradeaux 2015 Bandol Rouge AOC
Item Number: 15243
Sub Region: Provence
Appellation/AVA: Bandol AOC
Estate Grown Wine: Yes
Grape(s): 95% Mourvèdre / 5% Grenache
Type: Wine - Red
Bottle Size: 750 ml
Viticulture: Practicing Organic
Soil Type: Limestone-clay
The magic of Château Pradeaux lies in its unfettered expression of Mourvèdre, that thick-skinned, late-ripening variety which sings in its full glorious range in Bandol’s Mediterranean-hugging vineyards. Pradeaux’s 18 hectares are the nearest to the sea in the entire appellation, and they tend to harvest a full two weeks later than their neighbors. Appellation law requires at least 50% Mourvèdre in a Bandol, and while many domaines hew closer to the minimum, cushioning their wine with hearty proportions of Grenache and Cinsault, Pradeaux produces a full-strength wine of 95% Mourvèdre. While growers in this seaside appellation have gradually softened their wines over the years, the Portalis family—now run by ninth-generation Etienne—remains uncompromising in their approach, crafting singular wines that reveal themselves over time and possess the stuffing to outlast most of us reading this offering today.
Vineyard Notes: The old vine Mourvèdre and Cinsault grapes are harvested by hand from organically farmed vineyards. No herbicides, chemical fertilizers, or synthetic treatments are used at the estate, and extensive plouwing and tractor work follows the lunar cycle. The head-trained vines, some over 100-years old, have been replanted on a vine-by-vine basis to maintain a healthy vineyard. Old vines naturally control yields, which are then further suppressed with an annual green harvest, ensuring greater richness and quality of fruit. Grapes are hand sorted both in the vineyard and again in the cellar.
Winemaking Notes: After crushing, the whole clusters spontaneously co-ferment for approximately one month in foudre. Malolactic fermentation occurs spontaneously in large centenary Alsatian foudres. Lees contact lasts 6 months. Following malolactic fermentation, the Bandol Rouge is blended with free-run juice and aged for four years in wood foudre before being bottled.
Tasting Notes: The 2015 vintage yielded a classic and deeply typical version of Pradeaux Bandol: a wine of grainy, spicy fruit, medium in weight but rippling with underlying power, and with an intoxicating aromatic overlay of violets and smoked meats. The 2015 growing season was quite warm, but ample rain staved off hydric stress and steered the wine’s character away from that of an extreme drought vintage, and harvest took place at a normal time, beginning on October 3rd and wrapping up on the 10th.