Jean-Pierre Gaussen purchased a tiny plot of land in Bandol in 1962. Over the course of decades he increased the size of his domaine one piece at a time, planting each vine himself and tending them by hand with no pesticides or fertilizers. Jean-Pierre’s – and now JP’s daughter Mireille’s – winemaking is straightforward, in a natural stone cave that keeps the temperature perfectly regulated. His Bandols are almost pure Mourvedre, and among the most powerful, ageable wines in all of Bandol, a wine to lay down in the cellar. For tonight’s dining room table, Gaussen also makes this subtly serious Vin de Pays du Mont Caume from a broader palate of grapes including Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The nose offers Provençal aromas of wild bramble, sauvage, black olive and sun-baked earth to go with kirsch and dried blackcurrant fruit, making promises that the palate keeps, with velvety rich dark fruit framed by chewy tannins, cola and baking spices. The finish lingers gently, with touches of soil and herbs waving in the Mediterranean sea breeze. A lamb burger sounds good right about now.
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