Our tasting impressions
The sweetness of the fruit is evident on the nose. Presently, it's a bit coy and demure. It will add body over time. But what it lacks presently in weight, it makes up for in immense flavor that is stunningly fresh and bright. An incredibly enjoyable young Bandol that likely will impress even more in the future.
About this wine
Altum: meaning height, depth & on the high seas.
A blend of 95% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault from the estate's finest and highest vineyard (250m). Planted on steep, south-facing slopes, on average 40 years ago. The soil is very deep clay and calcareous rock. Yields were 32 hl/ha.
The grapes are hand-harvested and sorted in the vineyard. They are then sorted again at the cellar before being de-stemmed. The fermentation is 20 days in concrete tanks, with light pumping over each day. The wine is aged 18 months in 30 hl oak barrels.
About the grape blend
Mourvèdre, which originated in Spain must constitute at least 50% of the cépage in order to be labeled Bandol Rouge or Rosé. This late-ripening grape ,known elsewhere as Monastrell or Mataro, thrives in hot and dry climates. The small, black grapes produce very tannic wine that are prone to reduction and gaminess. Cinsault, a light-skinned grape, contributes considerable aromatics.
Vianney's perspective on the vintage
The winter began with desperately needed rain after the extreme drought of the prior year. The first buds appeared around the beginning of April, watered by heavy rains. The weather was ideal to enhance soil life. The spring was very rainy which meant a battle against mildew and this relentless weather lasted until July.
The vines were very generous with grapes which made a green harvest necessary to boost the ripeness of the grapes. The leaves also needed thinning the to aerate the grapes. The harvest started on September the 3rd with the Cinsault, which suffered from the wet conditions and needed careful sorting. Thankfully, September was the only rain-free month of the year, which lead to perfect ripeness for the Mourvèdre. The harvest ended September 25th.
Suggested Glassware: Grassl 1855
Château Canadel is a new estate in the Provencal of Bandol but the property was first farmed by the Romans. The name, Canadel is a derivation of Canal d'eau because of the water canals surrounding the Abbey that was one of 5 middle age buildings on-site.
For much of the 20th century, the property's grape were sold to the famous Domaine Ott. But since 2009, it has been run by Laure (agricultural engineer) and Vianney (agronomist & oenologist) Benoist. Laure's parents own the estate. Vianney worked previously at the prestigious Domaine Tempier.
Canadel has extraordinary and uncommon terroir. The Gros Cerveau mountains protects its vineyards from morning mist and drenching eastern rain. Also, its soil is one of the few in the area that was created by a collision of tectonic plates (known as a fold mountain) that placed the older Triassic era layer on top of that of the more recent Cretaceous era. The overlaying limestone and sandstone is excellent for retaining moisture.
The 15 hectare vineyard is farmed biodynamic (mostly manually) and is certified organic. The vines are arranged in terraces (restanques). Stone walls limit erosion and regulate the temperatures and flow of rainwater.
The Benoists' passion is evident in their wines. Already they are producing fabulous expressions of Bandol. VDLT is delighted to be the only source for their entire range of white, rosé and red.