Domaine du Gros Nore
Domaine du Gros’ Noré: Bandol (Provence) *click for video*
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)
2015 Bandol Rosé (40% Mouvèdre, 20% Grenache and 40% Cinsault)
2015 vintage release will be review mid 2016“An estate that continues to ratchet up the quality level, Domaine du Gros Nore’s 2014 Bandol Rose is a beauty that does everything right. Loaded with notions of flinty minerality, orange rind, tangerines and honeysuckle, it hits the palate with beautiful fruit intensity, lively, integrated acidity and a tight, focused, clean finish that keeps you coming back to the glass. This is a classic Bandol rose that offers beautiful drinkablity now, yet will have 2-3 years of prime drinking. 92.” Jeb Dunnuck erobertparker.com June 2015
2012 Bandol Rouge
“This has a dark leathery frame but remains sleek and pure overall, with a dense core of currant preserves, steeped plum and lightly mulled blackberry fruit, studded with dried anise and singed juniper notes. A bolt of iron is buried deeply on the finish. Best from 2017 through 2025. 93 points. #94 Top 100 wines of 2015” Wine Spectator Oct 2015
2011 Bandol Rouge
“Both of the reds are brilliant and most likely the wines of the vintage, the 2011 Bandol comes from 30-year-old vines and is a blend of 80% Mourvedre, 15% Grenache and 5% Cinsault. Aged 18 months in foudre, it’s a dense, concentrated 2011 that offers notions of black cherry, blackberry, earth and ground herbs on the nose. This flows to a full bodied, gorgeously put together palate that has considerable structure, superb purity of fruit and a knock out finish. Give it another 2-3 years in the cellar and enjoy it over the following 15 years or more. 94” Jeb Dunnuck erobertparker.com Feb 2014
2011 Bandol Rouge “Cuvee Antionette”
“Also gorgeous, yet slightly more elegant and polished, the 2011 Bandol Cuvee Antoinette, which is named after winemaker Alain Pascal’s mother, is comprised of 90% Mourvedre and the balance Cinsault and Grenache. It exhibits impressive amounts of red and black fruits, sweet spice, smoked earth and dried flower notions as well as building richness and depth on the palate. Full bodied, elegant, seamless and silky, with fantastic polish to the tannin, it’s reasonably approachable now, yet should be better in another year or three, and have 15-20 years of ultimate longevity. 94” Jeb Dunnuck erobertparker.com Feb 2014