This is an old favourite, maybe the best Provence rosé in the classic, clean style known from times past. It’s certainly the most prestigious one, and with a history to match (it can trace its roots at least back to the times of Louis XIV, and later Lucien Tempier who fought for the Bandol region and the mourvèdre grape). But this is not the occation to dig deep in history. And the wine is very much alive, as shown at my visit in Bandol in 2013, before and after, and now again even from the hot 2015 vintage.
Natalie Sotkine (left) and Véronique Peyraud (decendant of L. Tempier) in front of a pink façade
Clearly it’s not only the people that makes this a remarkable wine. The site close to the Mediterranean, but not too close and with favourable facing, and the soils of Bandol also play their part, here mostly clay and limestone.
The grapes for this wine come from parcels of predominantly mourvèdre (some grenache and cinsault) with an average 20 year old vines. The yields are low, so the concentration can be high. The grapes are hand-harvested. Tempier aims for acidity rather than alcohol, so in a normal year the harvest is done by hand around end-August, early-September. Half of the grapes are pressed directly, and the rest follows the saignée method. The wine rests in concrete vats some 8 months before bottling.
Bandol Rosé 2015 (Domaine Tempier)
Typical provençal pale salmon pink. The aroma is more complex and earthy though, with hints of peach, red apple and flowers. In the mouth the notes of herbs shine through, and the acidity contributes to give it an uplifting, long aftertaste. This is a rosé to keep if you wish, maybe at its best in a year from now, depending of taste.
Food: White fish, shellfish, salads, light meat and much more