For many U.S. wine lovers, Provence is synonymous with rosé. The pale pink wines common to the region have become a summer obsession — and with good reason. In Provence 89% of the vines are dedicated to rosé production, leaving just a small amount to red and white wines.
However, the red wines of Provence are worth seeking out. Bandol is already known for producing serious rosés on the darker end of the spectrum, so it should be no surprise that the region also produces world red class red wines. Here are eight to try.
Domaine de la Bégude 2017 Bandol; $39, 93 points. This bold, structured wine from the renowned estate combines rich Mourvèdre tannins with spice and fragrance hinting at the nearby Mediterranean. With its impressive density the wine could age further. Drink from 2022. Kysela Père et Fils. —Roger Voss
Domaine des Féraud 2016 Grande Cuvée (Côtes de Provence); $30, 93 points. The inverse blend to the Indigène brand from the producer, this has 80% Cabernet Sauvignon. The result is a structured wine, still packed with dark tannins and needing further aging. It is rich, full of black currants and spice. Drink this wine from 2023. Organic. Vins & Vignobles. —R.V.
Domaine le Galantin 2017 Bandol; $32, 93 points. This powerful, dense and rich wine showcases Mourvèdre. Bold tannins and red-plum fruits are infused by the wine’s generous structure and obvious potential. The wine needs to age and should be ready from 2023. Misa Imports. —R.V.
Les Vignobles Gueissard 2017 Cuvée G (Bandol); $26, 93 points. Structured with great perfumes and ripe tannins, this is a ripe wine. Concentration comes from low-yielding Mourvèdre, giving dryness and density that still need to soften. Drink this powerful wine from 2022. Winebow. —R.V.
Château Grand Boise 2018 Côtes de Provence Sainte-Victoire; $37, 92 points. This smoothly textured wine brings together rich blackberry fruits with dark chocolate and spice. Ripe tannins give the wine density and concentration, showing the wood-aging flavors and structure. Drink this wine from 2022. Organic. Soilair Selection. Cellar Selection. —R.V.
Château la Coste 2016 Grand Vin du Château la Coste (Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence); $65, 92 points. Wood aged and rich, this selection from old vines is powerful and dense. The blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon has plenty of room for tannins as well as bold black fruits. The wine is just reaching maturity although even more time would be better. Drink now, or wait until 2022. Organic. Skurnik Wines, Inc. Cellar Selection. —R.V.
Château Paradis 2017 Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence; $30, 92 points. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache come together in this rich, generous wine typical of the appellation. With broad red fruits and acidity in balance, the wine is approaching maturity. Drink from late 2021. Bridge Imports. Editors’ Choice. —Roger Voss
Château du Carrubier 2017 Côtes de Provence; $22, 90 points. Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon are the blend for this ripe wine. Aged in tank rather than wood, it is spicy with black-currant fruits and a stalky background. This rich wine is not quite ready, so wait until 2020. DB Wine Selection. —R.V.