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Although he has only been bottling his wines for a few years, Cedric Gravier is already a superstar in the making. Do...Read more...
Food Pairings for Suffrene Bandol Rouge Halves
Although he has only been bottling his wines for a few years, Cedric Gravier is already a superstar in the making. Domaine La Suffrène extends over 45 hectares across the communes of La Cadière d'Azur and Castellet. Vineyard practices are traditional from gobelet-trained vines to the strict vendange vert which keeps yields low, optimising quality and contributing towards concentration in the grapes when harvested. The harvest itself takes place from the end of September into October according to the maturity of the grapes, and is done by hand. A further selection is done at the tables before the grapes are received into the winery. After a partial or total destalking there is a cuvaison for 15-20 days with remontage twice daily, whereupon the wine is transferred to foudres undergoing malolactic fermentation. The traditional red is from 50- year-old vines, a Provençale bonnebouche. The white and rosé are worthy of consideration also. Grape varieties? Ugni Blanc (30%) Sauvignon (5% - for aromatic bounce) make up the white wine with Clairette (the grape that makes vermouth) giving typically resinous pastis notes, Ugni Blanc and Sauvignon providing the acidity and aroma. It all makes perfect sense with a bouillabaisse. It all makes perfect sense with a bouillabaisse. Mourvèdre (predominantly), Grenache (20%), Cinsault (15%) and Carignan (10%), in the red and rosé. Cuvée Les Lauves is a selection of vines from the best terroir and is 95% Mourvèdre and 5% old Carignan. All the red wines undergo malolactic fermentation and none of them sees any new oak, instead spending time in foudres. A natural with wild boar, saddle of lamb with herbs and truffles. I seem to recall a faux-historical documentary series in the 1970s called 'You are there' hosted by the gravel-voiced Walter Cronkite. He would establish the mise-en-scene of a famous historical event at the beginning of the programme, then turn to the camera, fix you with a senatorial stare, and intone in a voice like a stately foghorn: 'Remember - YOU ARE THERE'. Whenever I smell this red Bandol I make that similar leap of imagination to be there in Provence, amongst what Sybille Bedford memorably described in Jigsaw as: 'the sun-baked, cicadaloud, ageless country of scrub and terraced hills - the archetypal Mediterranean landscape of rock & olive, wild thyme, vineyards, light'.
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