2014 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rose, $32.00

"Le Roi de Rosés, les Rosés des Rois." OK, I made that second part up (the rosés of kings), but few would argue with the stature of Bandol rosé as the "king of rosés." Certainly the many rosés of other regions in Provence are more ubiquitous and can be delightful. The small appelation of Bandol, however, near the coast east of Marseille is unique in its heavy reliance on the late ripening Mouvedre grape, known for its power and deep color. This grape has been cultivated to perfection in Bandol for many generations, and is known to yield a rosé of roundness and power, with the ability to age gracefully for a few years. Cinsault is included in the blend to add freshness and complexity: this Pibarnon did not disappoint. Bandol rosés are limited in availability and on the pricier end of the rosé spectrum, but their reputation supports the valuation. We only get a very few cases every year, so hurry in to try one.