Domaine Lafran Veyrolles is an estate with a superb terroir and is widely recognised as one of the top three producers in the appellation. Jean-Marie Castell runs this small, traditional estate with just 10 ha of vines on the famous red clay soil of Bandol. The estate nestles in and is protected by the hills of the Cadière d’Azur and benefits from a maritime climate. The vineyards and winery of this small domain are managed by Jean-Marie Castell, whose father also worked for the Ferec family. He studied oenology before joining Domaine Lafran-Veyrolles and has continued the winemaking work in the style of the estate. The estate works organically and the yields are kept extremely low. Domaine Lafran Veyrolles reds have made it one of the star performers of the appellation … but don’t overlook the rosé wines as they deserve attention too!
The nose is considerably complex and intensely aromatic, with notes of tobacco, incense, cinnamon, clove, orange peel and damp earth, allied to bramble and cherry fruits and just a hint of eau de vie. With a core of ripe bramble and sour cherry fruit that is more than a match for those tannins. There is plenty of grip, of course, but plenty of fruit to go with it, not to mention a delicious layer of juicy acidity and a whole host of savoury, gently spicy elements, in a wine that shows a remarkable degree of elegance and complexity, even at this relatively young stage.