Robert Parker – ‘Always one of my favourite estates, Domaine Tempier's Bandol Rosé remains one of the world's reference points for how much flavor and character can be built into a rosé wine’
Jeb Dunnuck – ‘Always one of the top 2/3 rosé produced anywhere’
With such endorsements, and I limited myself to just two direct quotations, Domaine Tempier is established as one of the great estates for rosé, not that it should overshadow their impressive set of Mourvèdre-based reds, of which I have been a fan for many years. However, there are very few rosé that benefit from extended ageing, but Tempier’s does, to such an extent that Jancis Robinson once commented that the 1988 (tasted in 2015!) was ‘probably the finest pink’ she has ever drunk. Sorry, just used yet another endorsement, but with Tempier’s extraordinary rosé it is too easy to do…
A short history for you: in 1936, when Lucie ‘Lulu’ Tempier married Lucien Peyraud, her father gifted them a farm just outside Bandol. The vineyards of the estate had begun to be re-planted with grape varieties other than Mourvèdre on account of their reliability of yield, but having tasted venerable bottles of the estate’s great reds, Lucien championed Mourvèdre – he noted that it was well-suited to the area’s clay/limestone terroir. He worked with appellation authorities who decreed in 1941 that Mourvèdre legally needed to constitute 50% of any wine within the newly created appellation of Bandol AOC. After the new appellation was launched, a wholescale replanting of Mourvèdre took place in this now iconic Provençal region.
I was introduced to Bandol by my father, who has always harboured an interest in wines from the Rhône and Provence; in my teens I recall visits to a small, local wine shop where he loaded up with, at the time unfashionable, wines from the south of France. The fact that today, some thirty years on, I recall wines such as Domaine Tempier’s red and rosé, surely says something about my view of their quality.
The estate knows that their rosé sells readily and attempts to hold back 10-20% each year, but demand is significant. The estate encompasses just over 50 hectares, and even with just over a quarter of this area devoted to rosé production, it stills disappears all too easily.
I include below a recent note from Josh Raynolds on vinous.com. I would read the words and not worry so much about the score, as you can pick any recent vintage and a similar number of points will sit alongside, so consistent is this wine. And if you are fascinated by the idea of ageing this wine, which leads to interesting food matching opportunities in time, I would suggest buying a case for a few summers down the line, not something we tend to do with rosé, but well worth it in this instance! Buy one and drink it, buy another and forget about it for a few years…
2018 Bandol Rosé, Domaine Tempier
93 points, Josh Raynolds, vinous.com
£225 per 12 in bond
Shimmering orange. Fresh pit fruit, red berry and floral qualities on the highly perfumed nose, along with suggestions of dusty minerals and orange zest. Juicy, focused and lithe on the palate, offering intense nectarine, red currant, strawberry and candied lavender flavors supported by a spine of juicy acidity. Shows outstanding clarity and mineral cut on a very long, sappy finish that strongly echoes the floral and pit fruit notes. 2020-2025
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All the best,