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Bastide de la Ciselette, Bandol RoséProvence, France 2020 (750mL)

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Bastide de la Ciselette, Bandol Rosé Provence, France 2020 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol

Rosé’s meteoric rise in recent years has been one of the biggest stories in wine. However, the “rosé-as-summer-cocktail” trend leaves little room for a wine as artisanal, nuanced, and terroir-specific as Bastide de la Ciselette’s Bandol Rosé. This is no poolside chugger, but a rosé to cook a meal around.


The Bandol appellation, for many newer rosé drinkers, might amount to little more than a “brand,” but in this ancient village, rosé is elevated through meticulous craftsmanship to Grand Cru quality. Despite the domaine’s youth, Bastide de la Ciselette is ready to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with local legends Tempier and Pradeaux. Like those two benchmark estates, Ciselette rosé isn’t just a bottle to drink now, but to lay down and let evolve into a hauntingly aromatic, densely-textured beauty belying its modest price point. And if a rosé offer at the end of November seems a bit odd, I offer two reasons why it shouldn’t: (1) now, six months after landing stateside, is precisely when the best of these wines really start to hit their stride; and (2) a bottle this mineral, complex, and sumptuous should be in your regular rotation all year round, regardless of its color!



Bastide de la Ciselette is a new producer by Bandol standards, having only joined as the 57th member of the AOC in 2010. Previously, they’d sold their old-vine fruit to the local co-op. In the past decade, owner Robert de Salvo has pushed the domaine to bottle its own production, with the clear goal of joining the world’s upper echelon of renowned rosé houses. He’s certainly got the raw material to do it: this blend of 70% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache, and 5% Cinsault comes from vines averaging over 40 years old, planted in the region’s classic and energy-imbuing mix of limestone and clay. The estate’s 15 hectares are located just outside of Le Castellet, abutting that other Bandol benchmark, Domaines Ott. And while de Salvo humbly calls his farming lutte raisonée (“reasoned fight”), he’s actually using organic and biodynamic methods to farm his vineyards and olive groves.


It sometimes helps to think of Bandol not as rosé per se, but as profound, world-class wine that just so happens to be pink. The famously fussy and late-ripening Mourvédre, when planted in the right location and shown the care it deserves, develops singularly Provençal flavors of garrigue, black olive, and lavender. These flavors show up in both red and rosé interpretations, but if I’m being honest, I’ll take the pink version any day. As a rosé, salty minerality and nervous acidity join the fray, providing a thrilling counterpoint to those robust flavors. If you don’t typically think of yourself as a rosè drinker, I urge you to reconsider when it comes to Bandol. Frankly, despite its popularity, rosé still deserves a wider audience. Anyone who knows the magic of textured yet fresh Mediterranean whites like Vermentino or Assyrtiko will find a ton to love in Bastide de la Ciselette.


The 2020 Bastide de la Ciselette is a picture-perfect example of Bandol rosé. A shimmering salmon pink in the glass, the nose screams with grapefruit zest, white strawberry, pink melon, quince, hibiscus, lilacs, sage, and sea spray. The palate is medium in body, with a real sense of density and weight, a firm vein of acidity reining it all in and closing the finish on an incredibly refreshing note. Succulent and full yet tense, the sun-drenched fruit and seaborne tension make it beautifully layered and complex now, with the capacity to unfurl for another three years. Serve cool, but not ice-cold, alongside an octopus and anchovy salad for the full Provençal experience.  Bastide de Ciselette is worlds away from the innocuous, secretly off-dry rosés currently flooding the market; if you haven’t caught onto the trend yet, that’s perfectly alright. Grab a case of this and you’ll know even after the world moves on from the current fad, you’ll always have the beauty of Bandol rosé!




Bastide de la Ciselette, Bandol Rosé Provence, France 2020 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionProvence
  • Sub-RegionBandol
  • SoilArgilo-Calcaire (Clay-Limestone)
  • FarmingLutte Raisonnée
  • BlendMourvèdre 70%, Grenache 25%, Cinsault 5%
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • Service Temp.45-50° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stem
  • DrinkNow-2025
  • DecantingOptional
  • PairingGrilled Octopus Salad

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionProvence
  • Sub-RegionBandol
  • SoilArgilo-Calcaire (Clay-Limestone)
  • FarmingLutte Raisonnée
  • BlendMourvèdre 70%, Grenache 25%, Cinsault 5%
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • Temp.Serve at 45-50° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2025
  • DecantingOptional
  • PairingGrilled Octopus Salad