A glorious day of non stop sunshine was forecast for our trip to Bandol, and it was spot on.
Bandol is regarded as being one of the best red wine producing areas in the whole of Provence, characterised by the use of the Mourvèdre grape which thrives on the particular terrain of both rich red soils and paler stonier limestone.
Richard de Wahl Rubin was our host for the day, and Richard had organised a couple of visits to some top class estates.
First up was Domaine Terrebrune, situated at the eastern end of the Bandol appellation and surrounded by this amazing, mineral rich red soil. The owner is somewhat reclusive so we were hosted by his charming wife and Richard. Utterly fabulous wines, a mineral laden white followed by 2014, 2012 and 2003 vintages of the red. This showed brilliantly how the Mourvèdre grape evolves into a rich, sinewy and leathery mix of fruit and spice.
We then took a short stroll around the 14th Century village of La Cadière-sur-Azur with its stunning views before taking a delightful two course lunch at Le Bistrot de Jef which is part of the acclaimed Hostellerie Bérard.
Our afternoon tasting activities concluded at Domaines Bunan, a large estate that has become very successful and has another stunning view of the surrounding countryside. The tasting contrasted similar wines from different terroir and eminently showed the variety of style in what is a small AOC.
Our final night dinner at Pointe Noire was a great success. Delicious asparagus, perfectly cooked lamb, Comté cheese and an indulgent chocolate dessert, all washed down with a range of Provençal whites and reds.