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.
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 also naturally produces an assortment of charming, aromatic rosés made of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault.
Full of ripe fruit, and robust, earthy goodness, Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance, where it still goes by the name Monastrell or Mataro. It is better associated however, with the Red Blends of the Rhône, namely Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Mourvèdre shines on its own in Bandol and is popular both as a single varietal wine in blends in the New World regions of Australia, California and Washington. Somm Secret—While Mourvèdre has been in California for many years, it didn’t gain momentum until the 1980s when a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley finally began to renew a focus on it.