Young gun, new wave Bandol
Established in 2009 and with Felixir since 2013, this young producer's steady progress has been heartening. Our first meeting was in their rented shed/winery in the industrial part of Sanary-sur-Mer. Since then, vigneron couple Clément Minne and Pauline Giraud have bought out their silent partners, and acquired and renovated a winery right in the heart of Bandol's vines - a testament to their ambition and hard work.
6 hectares are owned and 12 hectares of vines leased and fully managed by the duo, with negociant parcels supplementing production of entry wines. The buzz at Guiessard is familiar as with any 'young gun' operation - a streak of mischief and humour underpins serious talent and skill. Clément worked at Domaine Tempier before the duo gained overseas winemaking experience, prior to setting up their own estate. An interesting counterpoint to the Old Guard producers of Bandol, pricing for provenance here is highly attractive, and this remains a producer to watch.
DOMAINE GUEISSARD BANDOL ‘RESTANQUES’ ROSÉ 2015
45% Mourvèdre, 35% Cinsault, 20% Grenache. Screwcap.
A beautiful rosé of seasonal transparancy, vintage 2015 sees this wine in tip top form. An incredible purity and intensity of fruit, this kicks the nose with passionfruit, red currant and gooseberry, with a little saline sweat - not at all dissimilar to a smart Sauvignon. It's a two speed wine, with a super high guzzle factor, yet to give it attention reveals serious complexity and layers.
"Faint charcuterie characters amongst sour cherry, sweet spice, briary notes, pomegranate and some oyster shell notes. The palate is lean but flavoursome, tightly wound, set around cherry pip and rosy fruit flavours with a minerally core. It’s precise, refreshing, mouthwatering stuff. Yummo, if that is a technical descriptor." 92 points, Mike Bennie, Winefront
DOMAINE GUEISSARD 'LE PETIT G' IGP MEDITERRANÉE ROSÉ 2017
35% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 30% Cinsault. Screwcap
The Little G that all the homies want to be. Made with a lot of care considering its level - grapes are hand harvested and manually sorted for starters. Provence style through and through, it's of beautiful salmon shade, with a nose of zesty citrus, mandarin and satsuma, the palate fruit driven and crunchy, with some of Gueissard's house style showing through - a teeny bit of guava skin, red currants, tangarine/mandarin juice, and a herbal undertow. 2017's wine is a particularly juicy and fruit forward release, and will win many fans. Summer in a bottle.
DOMAINE GUEISSARD BANDOL CUVÉE G ROUGE 2015
70% Mourvèdre, 15% Grenache, 15% Cinsault.
Red Bandol is all too under-appreciated in Australia, with the wild fruits and invigorating acid of the Mourvèdre grape making this a seriously appealing style. Initially coiled, this gives way to plum, vintage Port fruit and crunchy forest berries carrying a little baking spice, tobacco and dark chocolate flavours. A clean style, there’s a lovely density to the flavours which continue to open with air, nodding to a promising future in the cellar, though it’s pretty delicious already. Some crunchy minerals to finish and sinewy tannins render this a very complete package.
DOMAINE GUEISSARD cros du loup BANDOL ROUGE 2015
80% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache
From a lieu-dit of Bandol, Cros du Loup translates 'eyes of the wolf' - the Gueissard crew thought fit to vinify and release this parcel separately. A high, ultra low yielding site of 60+ year old vines squeezing out a mere 15 hL/ha, the wine receives extended maceration and 20 months in seasoned demi-muids.
Beastly, in the best possible way. Amazing concentration, with an abundance of deep red fruit, pepper and conserve/preserved fruit, with further baking spices and an amplified mineral presence. Tannins are long and powerful, yet at the same time elegant and fine. Plenty of cellaring potential, otherwise opens up beautifully over a leisurely few hours in a decanter.