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Drink : Wine of the Week

1998 La Bastide Blanche Bandol 'Longue Garde,' Provence

February 21, 2001|S. IRENE VIRBILA

The Bandol "Longue Garde" from La Bastide Blanche has everything going for it-deep color, masses of fruit, the taste of dark, ripe berries at the height of summer. But this is no mere quaffing wine. Heady and seductive, this Mourvedre-dominated blend has the structure (and the tannins) to age. That, after all, is what made this tiny Provencal appellation's wines so renowned in the past. It's a beautiful wine to serve with a steak charred rare, or with any kind of barbecue-which somehow plays up the gorgeous wild character of this benchmark Bandol.

This estate's regular Bandol is delicious drinking, too, not to be confused, though, with the "Longue Garde" bottling, which costs more.

About $27. Available at Wine House (310) 479-3731 and Wally's (310) 475-0606 in West L.A., Woodland Hills Wine Co. (818) 222-1111, Larchmont Village Wine and Cheese (323) 856-8699 in L.A., and Wine Exchange (714) 974-1454 in Orange. If you can't find this wine, have your local retailer contact the distributor, Union Wine Co., at (877) 479-9463.

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