Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bandol par Pieracci

For those of you — and I know that there are at least two of you — who have been waiting patiently for the answer to last Friday's installment of Name That Wine, it's demi-revelation time. For the full answer to the dual puzzle, you'll need to visit the comments stemming from that most recent quiz. For now, I'm prepared to tell you that one of the corks — the lower, the longer, the red stained (again, you'll have to revisit Friday's post) — was drawn from the very bottle of 2007 Bandol from Domaine Pieracci that's pictured at right.

Today's post, though, is really about a pair from Pieracci: their 2007 rouge and 2008 rosé. I'd never even heard of the estate until last year, when I picked up a couple of each of the above on a hope and a lark. I chose to open them each quite recently, inspired by a discussion with a friend about how much we both enjoy good Bandol but how deplorably infrequently I actually find occasion to drink said Bandols. So, situation remedied, at least in part....

Bandol Rosé, Domaine Pieracci (Jean-Pierre Pieracci) 2008
$27. 13.5% alcohol. Cork. Importer: A Thomas Calder/Garagiste Selection, Free Run, Seattle, WA.
Though lacking the fine bones and indefinable subtlety of the benchmark Bandol rosé of Domaine Tempier, I nonetheless found plenty to enjoy in Pieracci's expression. Vigorous and masculine, with an assertively herbaceous nose and front palate rounded out by red summer berry fruits. Full flavored and not shy in the body department, yet food friendly and well balanced in its display of Mediterranean sunshine. The year-plus it's spent in bottle has done it no harm, presumably allowing its fruit richness to subside enough that those Mediterranean coast-driven aromatic traits — rosemary, red earth, sun-dried tomatoes — could display their full breadth. It held up well over the course of an entire week of varying stages of "openness," losing some of its aromatic complexity along the way but maintaining its freshness and appeal.

Bandol Rouge, Domaine Pieracci (Jean-Pierre Pieracci) 2007
$29. 14% alcohol. Cork. Importer: A Thomas Calder/Garagiste Selection, Free Run, Seattle, WA.
This, on the other hand, turned me off much more than on. Though not overtly modern in the sense of being doped up with toasty oak or sexy winemaking signatures, it was still not what I look and hope for in Bandol rouge. Nonexistent was that sense of sauvage, of animality, of fierce tannins and latent herbaceousness bridled, in the best cases, by earthy depth and ever-so-perilously maintained balance. Instead I found plump, super-ripe fruit. Tannin was there, but not with enough of a frame to carry its fat. Though labeled at 14%, I'd peg this at much closer to 15%, showing every bit the effect of the ripe '07 vintage character of so prevalent across Provence and the Southern Rhône. I'm certainly willing to reserve judgment until I have the chance to try Pieracci's red from a more restrained vintage, but this was definitely more in-your-face full-figured than I want or expect from Bandol. Ever optimistic, though, I'll hold my remaining bottle for a few years and hope for transformation.


CabFrancoPhile said...

Hmmm, this sounds quite a lot like the style of an '05 Gros Nore Bandol I had recently. It seemed quite similar to a CA Petite Sirah. Not spoofy, just rather fat and dark and glossy without the elegant rusticity I was hoping for.

David McDuff said...

I've not tasted the '05 from Gros Noré, CFP, but it does indeed sound like a similar expression (and disappointment). Thanks for stopping by.

See said...

WowwyZowwy - got the 05 Gros' Noré at PLCB in Wayne last year and just was happy to find it at all in PA - typically I just love the woodcut label but I have always bought it to offstage the kind of dullness that the PLCB often brings to the table... Never had the PP but thnx for the review !

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