COOL SIPS Beauties This French rosé is meant to be savored now or cellared for next summer. By Tod Stigall Bandol RSVP INFO@CADILLACWINES.COM NATASHIA VAZQUEZ 817.989.4435 NATASHIAV@CADILLACWINES.COM MASUMI PINTO MASUMI@CADILLACWINES.COM CADILLACWINES.COM Several years back, as a summer tradition (also known to us as “rosé season”), my wine-mentor neighbor and one of my friends would gather every Sunday afternoon to try to outdo each other with the most obscure rosés that we could fi nd in the area. Sometimes, we would buy ahead and have a stash ready for several weeks in a row. Unfortunately, at the end of the season, we would usually end up with more rosé than we could drink. The following spring, I would enthusiastically get out my remaining stock from the previous year and receive a scolding from my mentor that last year’s wine would likely not be as good as if it had been consumed the summer before. Conventional thought is that you drink rosé from the most recently released vintage. But one Sunday, my mentor, a learned gentleman, excitedly told me of an article that he just read about rosés from the Provence region of Bandol. These rosés would improve with age when properly cellared. Bandol is in a warm region of France on the Côte d’Azur east of Marseille. Its primary grape is Mourvèdre, and that’s where the age-ability is derived. Wines from Bandol must contain at least 50 percent Mourvèdre regardless of whether the style of the wine produced is red, white or rosé. The fi rst things you will notice in a Bandol rosé are higher alcohol content and a higher price than other rosés made in the U.S. But it’s the fl avor that got our attention. Mourvèdre imparts an earthy, leathery, bitter taste, which elevates a wine that would be nothing more than common without its presence (much in the way the essence of anchovies elevates a Caesar salad dressing). Bandol rosés tend to be deeper rather than lighter, and they can stand up to stronger foods. They also can be fruity and elegant. In my opinion, these wines are better with food than Photo by Aaron Dougherty as leisurely sippers, but don’t let that sway you from a chilled glassful when you’re in the mood. Many consider the standard for Bandol rosé to be Domaine Tempier. The 2016 vintage has deep melon notes and is even a bit herbal. It was the most expensive of the Bandol rosés we sampled this season at about $50. It’s available at Put a Cork in It in Fort Worth. Another good example was 2016 La Garenne ($25), which had tannic, tart cherry notes and a creamy viscosity. Domaine la Suffrene 2016 ($24) had notes of cherry and raspberry with a long fi nish. Both are available at Spec’s. I had a pleasant surprise on a recent visit to the Hill County wineries outside of Fredericksburg. Many of the wineries I visited had rosés made of Mourvèdre. Pedernales and Kuhlman Cellars had good examples of the Texas versions of these wines. There were other wineries who had just planted rows of Mourvèdre in their vineyards. It will be interesting to see how these wines compare with their French counterparts over the next few years as our local winemakers gain experience with the Texas-grown grape. The best way to have fun with these wines is to buy two bottles. Drink one now and hold the other for next year for when you want a vintage treat come rosé season. Tod Stigall doesn’t love the Texas heat but is OK with seeking a bit of relief with his rosé research.