Bandol is the home of the Mourvèdre grape in France (in Spain it is known as Monestrell), and Domaine Tempier is the vineyard credited with building that home. In the 1930s the low-yield, high-maintenance Mourvèdre was on its way to becoming extinct. The variety had historically been common in the region until the phylloxera infestation hit in the late 19th century and vineyards were mostly replanted with higher yielding varietals. Lucien and Lulu Peyraud had acquired Tempier in the late 30s and after tasting decades old vintages of Mourvèdre based Tempier determined that the grape, being unique in character as well as age worthiness (due to its low oxidation rate), was worth saving. Lucien led the way working with neighboring vineyards to get Bandol designated as an official appellation in 1941. Bandol is now the only wine region in the world that requires Mourvèdre to be at least 50% of the blend. Lulu, now 103 years old and still the matriarch of Tempier, became celebrated in the world of food and wine as chef-hostess of the estate and mentored a young Alice Waters. In the 70s legendry American wine merchant Kermit Lynch began importing the wines. The company considers Tempier to be its founding and flagship partnership; Lynch himself owns a house near the estate.
We have the 2018 Bandol Blanc and the 2017 Bandol Rouge. The white is 60% Clairette with Ugni Blanc, Bourboulenc and Marsanne, and is round, citrusy and herbal, with nice mouth-feel and texture. The red is 75% Mourvèdre with Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan, and has the typical Bandol palate of dark fruit, leather and tobacco. Almost needless to say, the estate is organic and incorporates some biodynamic practices. The wines are made in small quantities and as of this writing we have just 12 bottles of the white and 25 of the red. The white is very good now but will certainly age for years and develop a rich, honeyed character. The red needs a few hours of decanting and will age for decades.
Domaine Tempier Bandol Blanc 2018
Retail Price: $49.99
Sale Price: $41.97
Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge 2017
Retail Price: $55.99
Sale Price: $49.99
Past Cellar Selections:
López de Heredia Bosconia 2007
Viña Almaviva 2016 – #10 on Wine Spectator top 100
San Leonardo – The Bordeaux of the Italian North
Find Value in Bordeaux Second Labels
Ceretto Barolo 2015 – Expressing the Terroir of the Langhe
Chateau Léoville Barton – vintages 2010 (100pts!), 2009, 2000
Chateau Prieuré-Lichine 2016 – Classified Bordeaux, 94–96 pts.
Maison Leroy Bourgogne 2017 – $90 for a Bourgogne Blanc? . . . Maybe Yes
Pierre-Yves Colin-Morey – Born to Burgundy
Eyrie Vineyards – Benchmark Oregon Pinot Noir
Domaine de Baronarques – A Mediterranean Mouton!
Chateau Montelena - New World but Classically Styled
Chateau Ducru-Beaucaillou – Like a Rolling Stone?
Gran Enemigo 2014 – 98 pt. Cabernet Franc