‘In Bandol, no other winery rivals the influence of Domaine Tempier in defining the identity of the appellation.’ – Wine Spectator
Bandol Rouge is one of the world’s greatest crossover wines. Its ‘New World-esque’ power is perfectly tempered by the nuanced, earthy and savoury characteristics which are decidedly Old World. Thanks to their limestone soils, Bandol’s red wines have a distinct freshness and fine structure, appealing to those who love the classically styled wines of the Rhône.
Domaine Tempier, owned by the iconic Peyraud family, is a true grand cru de Provence. Lucien and his wife Lucie (Lulu) were instrumental in establishing Bandol as its own AOC; granted in 1941. Alongside the famous Bandol Rosé, which sells out every year upon release, Mourvèdre finds its truest expression in their rare and long-ageing Bandol Rouge.
The 2017 Cuvée Classique Bandol Rouge is a Mourvèdre-dominated blend with Grenache, Cinsault and Carignan. It celebrates the 100th birthday of Lucie ‘Lulu’ Peyraud, the matriarch and much-loved doyenne of Tempier, with the addition of ‘pour Lulu’ in red on the label. Lulu credited her long life to drinking red wine, Champagne and 50 swings a day on the swing in the backyard (as seen embellished on the label).
We have a handful of the Bandol Rosé and Bandol Blanc left, so order now to avoid disappointment. Tempier’s Bandol Rosé 2019 has developed a cult following. Their Mourvèdre-based, fresh and pure-fruited, yet savoury spiced, finely structured rosé offers near-unparalleled longevity. Finally, only accounting for 3% of their production, is Tempier’s Bandol Blanc. While super scarce, it is one of the great wines of Provence. Based on Clairette Blanche, it is fine, salty and aromatic with both texture and richness.
It is with great sadness that we announce that Lulu passed away last week on 7 October – two months shy of her 103rd birthday. ‘Her contributions were so huge: Provençal lifestyle, cooking, welcoming feeling, etc. And, of course, joie de vivre,’ Daniel Ravier, Domaine Tempier’s winemaker, wrote in an email to Wine Spectator, ‘it is hard to describe what her influence was, but I hope the wines of Domaine Tempier reflect her.’ We uncorked a bottle and raised a glass to the wonderful woman, who with wine, food and a lot of laughter, changed people’s lives for the better.
Tempier, Cuvée Classique ‘Pour Lulu’ Bandol Rouge 2017
The aromatics of this wine are reminiscent of a walk in the forest – brambly, fragrant dried herbs, pine needles, red and black cherries and savoury, leathery, meaty notes. On the palate there is more licorice, violets, with fine-grained gravelly tannins and a juicy acidity supporting the fruit. This is an elegant yet powerful wine, which will require some decanting if opened soon, but also age phenomenally for the next couple of decades. – Jolette Steyn (October 2020)
Tempier, Bandol Rosé 2019
Tasting notes on the 2018 vintage: 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. Drink 2020-25. – Josh Raynolds, Vinous, 93/100
Tempier, Bandol Blanc 2018
Tasting notes on the 2017 vintage: One of the finest whites from this region, the 2017 Bandol Blanc from Tempier is made from 60% Clairette, 18% Ugni Blanc, 19% Bourboulenc and 3% Marsanne. Accounting for less than 3% of Tempier’s production, this incredibly classy and balanced white shows aromas of white flowers, citrus blossom, white peach, fennel and mint. The palate is textured and rounded, yet mineral and fresh, with an underlying salinity that adds to the length and more-ish factor. – Jolette Steyn (September 2019)