2004 Domaine Tempier Bandol- France, Provence, Bandol (3/12/2014)
PnP into a Burg glass worked perfectly. Awesome nose. My wife loved it! We had consummed this btl by the time dinner was done and it was a perfect match with mixed grill. So tasty and so facinating! Everytime I drink a Tempier Bandol, which isn’t all that often, I ask myself, “why don’t I own more of these???” This is almost always one of the more characterful and terroir driven wines we drink. This '04 is no exception and one of the best I’ve had to date. Tremendous length and depth of flavor on a vibrant youthful frame. Has that wet stone minerality I remember a great btl of '92 Henri Bonneau Celestions showing a while back. This wine is somewhat bigger then most Burgs I drink and yet feels weightlessly fresh and ethereal. At nearly 10yrs old this is now drinking very very well but shows great youthful vigor and color. Very happy to own a couple more andwill likely buy a couple more still. Wish this could still be had at $28 I paid but I’m betting its still sub $50 and a complete steal at anything under $50. This doesn’t have the mass market appeal of CDP, which I love too but, frankly its a much more interesting wine than many CDP and can be had for as low as $35-$40 on release. (94 pts.)
I’ve recently discovered Bandol and also love it. After tasting various vintages of Bandol over the past year I’m still trying to discern the best time to drink them for my palate. All the Tempier I’ve had has been less than 5 years old and I’ve realized that is too soon. I’ve had some 5 - 15 year old Pibarnon and I really liked everything up to say 10 years, but not so much after 10 years.
Obviously vintage and producer play a major factor in the drinkability determination, but am curious as to other Bandol lovers what their sweet spot is.
This was the exact wine that started me off on Bandol. I first tried this Bandol on release and even when it was too young at the time, I became hooked right then. I think I have drunk the case I started with. I might have one more left which I will aim to drink next winter. This wine started drinking really well a couple of years ago for me.
And I do have some of all three single vineyard bottling`s from 2004 which I need to save for a couple of years still. I have had a couple of them recently and they are definitely slower to mature than the regular red. But if you like the regular 04, the single vineyard wines are even more interesting and all quite unique.
And I have 05 to 07 which I have not even tried yet. The 2004 is a great year for Tempier. Wish I actually could get some more of them.
I love Tempier with roasted leg of lamb. Savory. Animalistic. Brooding. Unique.
Even though Tempier red is on the top tier in Bandol and commands top dollar, I consider it to be a great value wine when you compare what you get for your money to top wines from other areas like Napa or CdP etc. And the other thing I like about Tempier is I am never tempted to drink them all year around. Only in the winter. So they are easier to forget about for 7 months out of the year.
Yea, I need to man up and buy some of the SVs too. I had a '99 SV, I beleive, a long time ago that Alan Rath brought to MPLS and remember really liking it. I could see drinking them in the summer too though .
A 98 Tempier Cuvee Speciale in December was stunning – lush, smooth yet fresh, with enough structure to keep it very much alive. A big mouthful of Provencal warmth. No reason not to drink it now, but no danger of it dying soon. My wife pronounced it the best wine she’d ever had.
I grabbed a 2011 locally at the new Total Wine for $38 to try. Eager to see how 2011 is? I think Tempier is a pretty safe buy in almost any vintage though. The producer is very decerning and has great terroir.
The four Tempiers I’ve had in the past year (3 SVDs, and 1 Cuvee Speciale) were each 12 or 13 years old at the time I drank them, and they all showed horribly young; they were consumed more out of necessity than stuborness.
Thanks for the responses. As my oldest vintage is 2008, I’ve got two choices - wait another 8-10 years or seek out older bottles. As I’m not looking to buy any more wine at this point, I’ll probably wait a few years and check in and save others for further down the road.
On a somewhat related note, I recently received an email from Gramercy Cellars (Washington producer whose founder/head winemaker is a Master Somm) regarding spring wines and found the following tasting note on their new Mourvedre to be very interesting.
“When I was in Bandol this summer, the one thing I noticed was that our Mourvédre in barrel tasted very similar to the wines we were sampling in the cellars. While I feel our Syrah and Grenache are very Rhône-like, I don’t get the same familiarity when tasting in barrel in the Rhône. Mourvédre is at home in Washington. It needs a warm site and low yields. To sum it all up – I think that perhaps Mourvédre has more potential than any other variety in Washington. But Mourvédre is a wine-geek grape. You have to love smoky, earthy flavors. You have to be willing to age the wine. What I love about Mourvédre is that it keeps a red fruit profile while still being extremely dark and earthy.”
Normally, I’d chalk any such talk from a winemaker up to marketing, but with his MS background I give it a bit more credence. I’ve had some good WA Mourvedre from Rasa years ago and Maison Bleue makes the closest Rose I’ve had to Tempier (for a lot less!), but I had not really considered them “very similar” to Bandol. Will have to do a tasting soon to compare Gramercy and Rasa against a few Bandols.
Nice topic! Scott, 2008 was one of the best vintages of the decade, hang onto those for a while. I’ve had quite a few older tempier vintages, and I will preach a little sacrilege in that I prefer them not quite as old as some. With age they become much more Burgundian, lighte r body and for me lose some of the wildness of younger mourvedre. I think a window of 8-15 years is ideal, but I know a lot of folks like to go longer
I also have this vintage in my cellar including the SVD’s. The last bottle drunk in '10 did not pair well with lamb, which was strange. Need to check back in soon and also need to pick up some more Bandols in general. Really like the style. Had an 2003 Domaine du Gros 'Noré Bandol that was spectacular.