Bandol is the source of some of the greatest Rosé's in France, usually the most complex and definitely the most expensive. Producers like Domaines Ott and Tempier are pushing $50 these days and you can't even find them. The Gros 'Noré domaine, long a family possession selling fruit to domaines Ott and Pibarnon, came to be when Alain started bottling his own wine in 1997. The domaine takes its name from Alain's father Honoré, a big guy known locally as "Gros'Noré. Alain, himself a pretty big guy and ex-boxer with the nose to prove it, has done an incredible job in a short amount of time creating one of the top few sources of Bandol.
The domaine lies under the sun soaked town of La Cadière d'Azur just a couple of miles inland from the coast and the town of Bandol. Farming has always been sustainable here, if not certified organic, and the quality of the low yielding vines is evident in all three colors of Bandol made here. The clay soils here are essential for the quality and character of the powerful Mourvedre grape which forms the backbone of the great reds and rosés. While Provençal rosé is the most famous in France, the microcosm of the Bandol appellation is its epicenter. These are the famously pale and refreshing wines synonymous with a summer vacation on the Côte d'Azur or a working week at nearby Cannes. They're also great wines for summer menus and can be paired with even grilled beef. Not your everyday pink summer quaffer.
The Gros 'Noré rosé is about half Mourvedre and the remainder Cinsault and Grenache. Pale salmon color with the classic watermelon, peach and strawberry aromas these wines are famous for. Dry, almost chewy texture and a slightly higher toned, more refreshing rendition of Bandol Rosé than Tempier for instance. A bit more citrus and delicate fresh red fruit and blood orange. Taut, mineral finish with impressive length. There's less and less of this wine every vintage with demand increasing with at home and abroad, 36 bottles in stock.