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In a very loose polling, some six out of ten persons that we know would prefer to retire to Provence than all other places on the planet combined. Oh, and then there are the wines.

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2012 Bandol Rosé La Bastide Blanche
A glass of Bandol Rosé can make the heart sing. A bottle between two so inclined can lead to singing and dancing on tables, to reveling in what might well be taken for paradise in the purity of the Provençal light. While we've much enjoyed their superb red and white wines of La Bastide Blanche for a couple of vintages now, the rosé is fresh on the scene and is just the sort of delicious value we've been looking for. Produce of a preponderance of Mourvèdre, together with Grenache and Cinsault from vines some 29 or so years old on average, vivid peachy Provençal sunset pink with glints of azure blue and copper; alluringly fresh transportive aromas of berry and stone (at least a couple of our tasters imagined mountain pine); ample and most present on the palate, at once fine and savory with nerve of ripe ruby red pith and limestony minerality and (whither my thirst?) ... ahh, Provence.
$22.50 the bottle  $229.56 the case

2011 Bandol Rouge Domaine Tempier
From the much-beloved Peyraud family in Bandol, Provence. Their Bandol Rouge is produce of about 75% Mourvèdre, 14% Grenache, 9% Cinsault and 2% Carignan fruit from 19+ hectares of vines averaging 40+ years in age and planted to clay and limestone soils there overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Their long-time importer, Kermit Lynch, says "There is something about the dark, inky Mourvèdre, plus the salty sea air caressing the vines every night, that typifies classic Bandol ... deep and structured wines of such refinement and longevity."
$47.50 the bottle  $484.56 the case

512 West Sixth Street Austin, Texas 78701-2806 USA
(an easy right turn between San Antonio and Nueces streets)