2021 Domaine Le Galantin, Bandol Blanc
2021 Domaine Le Galantin, Bandol Blanc

2021 Domaine Le Galantin, Bandol Blanc

Provence, France 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$30.00

2021 Domaine Le Galantin, Bandol Blanc

Say the name “Bandol” and even the most well-versed wine drinkers will justifiably think of the region’s vivid, salmon-pink rosés. After that, it's the spicy and long-lived reds. But if we had our way—or maybe if more than a few hundred cases of the stuff ever made it stateside—the region’s white wines would share equal billing. Because a wine like Domaine Le Galantin’s Bandol Blanc is everything we want from a Mediterranean white: Lushly textured, thrumming with vivid acidity, inflected with seabreeze and scrub brush aromatics. And despite the disparity in international fame, great whites from Bandol are every bit as evocative of this rugged Provençal landscape as their pink and red siblings. In the deep days of winter, we often find ourselves turning to sunny seaside whites for a little vinous escape. Little is as transportative as Galantin’s Bandol Blanc, so stock up!

If you’re looking for breathtaking vineyard landscapes, Bandol is about as dramatic as they come. Here, just east of Marseille, bush-trained vines cling to steep terraces that look out to the Mediterranean Sea. This is a decidedly hot region, sheltered from any cooling northern winds by a chain of mountains and basking all day long in abundant sunshine. The overwhelming majority of vineyards here are planted to late-ripening red varieties as a result. But select sites—typically at higher elevations, where nighttime temperatures drop precipitously—contain a few rare white grapes. Clairette takes the lead in both regional plantings and in Le Galantin’s bottling, and that’s a blessing: this underappreciated grape produces wines with scintillating acidity even in southern France’s warmest regions. And when handled with care, and cropped at reasonable levels, it can take on a saline minerality that speaks loudly to Le Galantin’s coastal origins.

Domaine Le Galantin began in 1960 when Achille Pascale purchased the property, which was already planted to old vines and olive trees. For a decade, Achille farmed the land and sold the fruit, and then he decided to bottle a scant 130 cases of rosé in 1972. He began to bottle more and more wine over the ensuing years, slowly adding to the domaine’s holdings. In 1999, he passed the reins to his daughter Céline, and a few years later, his son Jérôme joined the fold. Now, Jérôme works the vineyards and Céline makes the wine. Their best holdings, including the white grape plantings, sit on sandy soils over clay, still on the old terraces that dictate strict hand management of the vines. 

Atop a base of 60% Clairette, the Le Galantin Bandol Blanc includes 35% Ugni Blanc and 5% Rolle. Any lover of Mediterranean whites will recognize these two varieties by their Italian names—Trebbiano in the case of Ugni Blanc and Vermentino for Rolle. This is a coastal white all-star lineup. Every step the Pascales take in the winemaking process helps to preserve freshness; the wine is gently pressed into stainless steel, it ferments at cool temperatures, and malolactic is blocked. The resulting wine is a one-sip trip to Provence. Laden with just-ripe white peach, lemon zest, and pineapple skin, it sings with garrigue herbs, white flowers, and seaspray on the nose. The palate is juicy and dense, belying its warm-climate origins, but snaps together with a quickness thanks to a firm throughline of acidity and deeply marine minerality. This is a bottle to enhance any seafood or shellfish dish, or just to sip on its own. No matter how you serve it, you’ll be immediately on the hunt for more Bandol blanc. Best to grab plenty of Le Galantin, because it’ll be a while before you see any more!
2021 Domaine Le Galantin, Bandol Blanc

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