Chateau Pradeaux, Bandol, Cuvee X 10 Ans d'Elevage 2007
Removed from original wooden case
This is a monument of a wine from an excellent vintage, and a one-off cuvee from this bastion of tradition in Bandol. Cyrille Portalis, who runs things at the property these days, simply could not figure out what to do with a certain foudre in the cellar while preparing for his final blend of the '07 vintage. Not that the foudre was disappointing in any way, it just didn't seem to fit with the rest of the wine he had at his disposal. Cyrile decided the best course of action was just to let it be and see what happened.
Their regular Bandol cuvee sees four years in large older wood; this one rested for 10 years before bottling.
The resulting wine is a fascinating study in contrasts. Though the wine is over a decade old now, it shows arresting freshness, vibrancy and grace. There is plenty of structure and customary iron-tinged savoriness to the wine, but it never feels overbearing. It is defined by its incredible depth and exceptional length, and though it's already a fascinating drink, it looks set to deliver immense pleasure long into the future.