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Bandol: Panel tasting results

Red, white and rosé wines, all from this small but well-reputed region on France’s Côte d’Azur, with quality and fresh styles across the board.

Elizabeth Gabay MW, Beatrice Bessi and Poppy de Courcy-Wheeler tasted 77 wines, with 4 Outstanding and 26 Highly recommended.

Bandol: Panel tasting scores

77 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 4

Highly recommended 26

Recommended 42

Commended 5

Fair 0

Poor 0

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-vintage AP Bandol wines in white, rosé or red, and preferably all three if possible

Bandol is an appellation with a dual image – part of Provence proper, but not part of its marketing activities. This tasting offered an opportunity to ascertain whether any distinctive Bandol characters shone through, especially in the rosés.

Overall, the quality of the wines excelled, with really good examples in all three colours (30 rosé, 29 red and 18 white) in a distinctly Bandol style, especially evident in the big, structured reds and rosés.

There is a growing interest in the whites from this region, so it was good to see a decent representation. Despite the high volume of rosé produced in the region (74% in 2023, according to Vins de Bandol), the true stars of this tasting were the reds, representing 71% of the wines scoring 91-points and above.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores from the Bandol panel tasting

Bandol panel tasting scores

Wines were tasted blind

The judges

Elizabeth Gabay MW is a wine writer, educator, speaker and consultant, with a focus on rosé and the wines of southern France, where she has lived since 2002. Her second book Rosés of Southern France, co-authored with son Ben Bernheim, was published in July 2022 (£22 Zalabim Conseil).

Beatrice Bessi is head sommelier at Chiltern Firehouse luxury hotel and restaurant in central London. A DWWA judge, Bessi is a CMS Advanced Sommelier and WSET educator. She moved to the UK from Italy in 2016 and began her sommelier career at 67 Pall Mall.

Poppy de Courcy-Wheeler is a wine buyer for Waitrose, focusing on rosé, Burgundy and regional France, having previously worked for more than five years in roles including wine buying and head of trade sales at importer Charles Taylor Wines.

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