$36.00 USD

The Portalis family reserves their oldest vines for their flagship Bandol Rouge, and employs their younger plantings of Mourvèdre, complemented by splashes of Grenache and Cinsault, in the “Le Lys”—which we are excited to debut in the outstanding 2016 vintage. Comprising 85% Mourvèdre, plus roughly 10% Grenache and 5% Cinsault, “Le Lys” is de-stemmed around 50%, in contrast to the old-vines cuvée which is always fermented entirely whole-cluster. Etienne employs de-stemming here not to craft an easy and-forward wine, however, but to preserve equilibrium in a cuvée whose younger and less substantially sappy fruit may threaten to be overwhelmed by stem tannins. “Le Lys” spends two years in large oak casks rather than the appellation-outlying four years of the flagship red; it’s a long enough stint for its elements to harmonize beautifully, but the fruit remains ever so slightly juicier and more primary than in the old-vines Bandol Rouge. The drought-vintage 2016 delivers plenty of leather and a thick wall of ultra-black fruit, and even if it is less imposingly built than the flagship wine, it is far more serious, authoritative, and layered wine than most of what the appellation produces—and it is unmistakably Pradeaux to its core.