Domaine la Suffrene in Bandol has been the Gravier family homestead and vineyard for generations, but the grapes had always been sold to local cooperatives. It wasn't until 1996, when Cedric Gravier took to the helm, that the vineyards' potential was realized and bottled at the estate.
Home to 70-year-old Carignan and 50-year-old Mourvedre vines, the vineyards here are farmed organically but not certified. For his red wines, Cedric de-stems up to 85% and co-ferments in oak, only if the fruits' maturity permits. Preferring to co-ferment, because – "If you can mix in the tank by fermentation," says Cedric, "then it's more homogenous. We use big foudres of 4,000 to 6,000 litres," he says, "because we're not looking to impart flavors and tannins." Malolactic fermentations are typically blocked to retain freshness.
A deep, almost opaque purple in colour. Scents of prunes, blueberries and woodsmoke. On the palate dry and savoury with well integrated tannins that soften to produce a subtle yet lingering finish.