Domaine du Gros ‘Noré Provence, France.
Owner Alain Pascal has 16 ha of vines in the prime sector of Cadiere d’Azur. The first official vintage released was 1997. Prior to this, Alain’s father, Honore (his name is shortened to ‘Nore to give the name of the Domaine as Gros Noré = Fat Honore) worked the vineyards but never made his own wine. Instead he sold the grapes to another leading Bandol producer at that time, Chateau de Pibarnon. These beautifully sited vineyards have an average age of 30 years with some located in the highest coolest part of Bandol.
Bandol is regarded as the First Growth of Provence producing the most serious, and well known, wines of Provence. The Mourvèdre grape variety is the basis of great Bandol with appellation laws requiring a minimum of 50% for the red wines (though many use up to 100% for some cuvees). As well as Mourvèdre (80%), the Gros’ Noré red also has a dash of Grenache(15%), and old vine Cinsault (5%). The wine is aged for 18 months in old 60 hl wooden barrels (foudres). There are no new barriques used.
There are now two cuvees of red wine is produced, bottled without fining or filtration. Cuvee Antionette comes from old vines located in the highest and coolest north facing slope in Bandol and was first produced in 2008. Made from 95% Mourvedre this wine is very intense yet still fresh
“In ten years, Alain Pascal has made his domaine one of the best representatives of his appellation. With old vines of Mourvedre ripened to perfect maturity he produces Bandol reds which are always very complete, intense and made for long ageing from the clay soils of Cadiere d’Azur.” From Classement 2013 (The best wines of France)
2016 Bandol Rosé (40% Mouvèdre, 20% Grenache and 40% Cinsault)
‘Bright orange-pink. Bright, spicy and focused on the nose, displaying fresh orange, strawberry and floral scents that expand with aeration. Dry and chewy in the mouth, offering blood orange, bitter cherry and honeysuckle flavors that show excellent depth and focus. Closes taut and minerally, displaying strong persistence and a powerful floral note.’ 92 points, Josh Raynolds, Vinous, June 2017.
2014 Bandol Rouge
2012 Bandol Rouge
2011 Bandol Rouge Cuvée Antoinette