One of the most famous seafarers of the 19th century was a Provençal named Julien Fabre, who held the world record time for the Marseille – Malabar Island journey (a prestigious title in those days!). When Fabre retired, he purchased a 10 hectare estate in the hills a mile above the Bandol coastline and built his home. When his daughter married Monsieur Maubernard, the domaine got its name and vines were planted.

Today, Captain Fabre’s great-grandson Michel Vidal is in charge of the estate. Most of his vines are planted in a steep, south-facing amphitheatre in stony soils infused with limestone (giving freshness), and magnesium (for power). The high clay content retains what little water the heavens send, so the long ripening season for Mourvèdre takes place in perfect conditions.

This part of the appellation is one of the most sought after terroirs, so it’s no surprise that Michel’s vines are next to those of Château Pibarnon, who purchased a plot in the same amphitheatre (the two wineries also share the same oenologist).

The rosé is predominantly Mourvèdre with a splash of Grenache and Cinsault, aged in stainless steel for 9 months to retain its freshness. The Bandol Rouge is a blend of Mouvedre (90%) and Grenache (10%), picked at very low yields and aged for a minimum of 18 months in foudre.

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We're Decanter and IWC Specialist Merchant of the Year for our USA range.

... London's best collection of seriously smart wine available by the single bottle

Jancis Robison MW