Medium garnet, crystal clear and moderately staining. Overt eucalyptus dominates the nose, a peppermint-patty bright note rising out of the burnt chocolate sweet-gum fire that is the bouquet. Silky Naugahyde upholstery-shop settles out to a muddy stream of brake-dust runoff.
Who doesn’t love Bandol. I think it is probably everybody’s first glimpse of Mourvedre–even if at their Bandol-cherry-popping they did not realize they were swilling Mourvedre. This little darling is indeed a bargain, has a cheesy little label I could totally see being vin de la maison at a resty in Nice–alongside matching vin blanc and vin rosé. It is not a particularly elegant wine–rough-smelling, sweaty and unctuous, a night-emollient on a festering eucalyptus sore. But like almost all wines from sunny France-Sud, there is silent charm in the country.
In the mouth, thinnish plummy fruit fights hard to overcome a streak of acid and tannin early and strong, merciless to any pleasures of sweetness of fruit you might have fantasized over. Rich over the early tongue, showing a glimpse of cherry, varnish and cat-shit, but immediately, the eucalyptus begins as a flavor and crescendos to full-on burn.
This wine is fun to drink, but I can’t whole-heartedly recommend it. If you are a winemaker or well-rounded snob or collector, yes–there are large parcels of wine-appreciation real estate here to love and learn from. But for joe-blow consumer it will prove a sure failure.
2012 DOMAINE LA GALANTIN Bandol France 13.5