Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge (375ML half-bottle) 2016
The Cuvée Classique blend combines grapes from the estate’s different terroirs. In the area known as ‘Le Petit Moulin de la Cadière’, named after its windmill, the vines grow on south-facing terraces stretching out over hilly terrain. The soil in this part of the vineyard is characterized by the presence of fossilized seashells (85 million-year-old bivalve mollusks). Clay is found to varying depths throughout the estate’s soil and, although the clay is quite dense, alluvial layers comprised of silt-sand sediment deposits are also present. One might think these looser layers in the soil would have little influence on the wine, but in fact, they provide excellent drainage which helps to produce very refined wines.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Like the 2015, the 2016 Bandol Rosé from Domaine Tempier is terrific. Tangerine, peach and hints of rose petal all emerge from this beautiful, supple, forward beauty that has plenty of fruit, integrated acidity and a plump, utterly delicious style. Drink it over the coming year or so.
This has a lovely balance of zip and richness, with peach, mango and blood orange notes, lifted by bright savory and rosemary accents. Shows a stony edge on the finish.
Bandol is a small appellation on the Mediterranean, granted AOC status in 1941. For centuries it has produced some of the longest-lived wines in France, using primarily the Mourvedre grape. Wines from this region have unique aromatic properties which many claim come from the dry Provencal herbs which cover the hillsides: thyme, savory, rosemary, wild mint and fennel.
Domaine Tempier's rose, considered to by many to be the finest in France, is fuller and creamier on the palate and shows dimensions not often found in rose. Perhaps the addition of young Mourvedre is responsible, or the Peyraud's allowance for the wine to follow its natural inclination and complete malolactic fermentation.
Provence’s leader in concentrated and age-worthy red wines, Bandol is home to the dense, deep and earthy Mourvèdre grape. Like Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Bandol produces characterful reds that, while approachable in their youth, are typically designed for the cellar. Given its coastal, Provencal situation, Bandol naturally produces an assortment of charming, aromatic rosés made of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault.
Full of color, ripe fruit, plenty of texture and earthy goodness, Mourvèdre is an important grape in many key regions in the south of France, as well as in Spain and the New World. Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance (there known as Monastrell or Mataro) and is the key variety in Alicante, Jumilla and Yecla. It truly thrives, however, in Provence’s Bandol region, where it shines on its own as a single varietal red and in Southern Rhône where it palys a major part in blends . It is also of great importance in the Southern Rhône alongside Grenache and Syrah—and in California and Australia, as a single varietal wine or in Rhône blends.
In the Glass
At their finest, Mourvèdre wines are robust and full of brambly red and black fruit, and aromas and flavors of herbs, leather, earth, dark chocolate and licorice. Well-aged examples can show an impressive degree of elegance and an attractive perfume. In blends with Grenache and Syrah, Mourvèdre provides fleshy texture, tannic structure and deep color.
This earthy Mediterranean variety loves rustic food—think cassoulet, wild boar ragu or smoky ribs. Mourvèdre’s tannins are bold but not bitter, lending both weight and texture.
Mourvèdre used to have significant plantings in California, but the vine lost popularity during the 20th century in favor of other varieties. However, in the 1980s, a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley have been working to bring the variety back into the spotlight. Plantings have since increased and Rhône blends are now a highly-regarded specialty of the Central Coast.