Domaine Tempier Bandol Classic 2016

The Cuvée Classique blend combines grapes from the estate’s different terroirs. In the area known as ‘Le Petit Moulin de la Cadière’, named after its windmill, the vines grow on south-facing terraces stretching out over hilly terrain.

This fruity, well balanced wine can be enjoyed after 3 or 4 years, but develops extremely pleasant tertiary aromas (leather, animal and undergrowth) with further ageing. The wine’s balance gives it an ageing potential of 15 years or more.

75% Mourvèdre 14% Grenache 9% Cinsault 2% Carignan

$79ea in any 3+, $75ea in any 6+

In stock

Why is this Wine so Yummy?

About Domaine Tempier by Kermit Lynch

When Lucie “Lulu” Tempier married Lucien Peyraud in 1936, her father gave them Domaine Tempier, an active farm that had been in the family since 1834, near Le Plan du Castellet, just outside the Mediterranean seaport village of Bandol. Tasting a pre-phylloxera bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol (a wedding gift from his father-in-law) inspired Lucien to research the terroir of Bandol extensively.  Up until that point, old vineyards planted with Mourvèdre had been systematically replanted to higher-yielding varietals. However, more research not only showed its historical roots to the area, but the grape proved to be more resistant to oxidation, producing wines with great aging potential. By 1941, with the assistance of neighboring vignerons, Lucien worked with the I.N.A.O. (Institut National des Appellations d’Origines) to establish Bandol as its own A.O.C. Needless to say, large-scale replanting of Mourvèdre ensued, and Bandol now requires a fifty percent minimum in all reds. Lucien will forever be celebrated as the Godfather of Bandol, but also as the man who revived Mourvèdre to its former glory. Raising deep and structured wines of such refinement and longevity has made Domaine Tempier truly a grand cru de Provence.

Grapes & Making from the Domaine

The Cuvée Classique blend combines grapes from the estate’s different terroirs. In the area known as ‘Le Petit Moulin de la Cadière’, named after its windmill, the vines grow on south-facing terraces stretching out over hilly terrain. The soil in this part of the vineyard is characterised by the presence of fossilised seashells (85 million year old bivalve molluscs). Clay is found to varying depths throughout the estate’s soil and, although the clay is quite dense, alluvial layers comprised of silt-sand sediment deposits are also present. One might think these looser layers in the soil would have little influence on the wine, but in fact they provide excellent drainage which helps to produce very refined wines.

All grapes are harvested by hand. After de-stemming, grapes are fermented with natural yeast and vinified for 2 to 3 weeks in stainless steel.  After maceration is finished and must is pressed, the wine is moved to oak foudres for malolactic fermentation. Aged in oak foudres (25 to 50 hl) for 18 to 20 months. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The Vineyards of Domaine Tempier

The three single-vineyards of Domaine Tempier are: La Migoua, La Tourtine, and Cabassaou. All are made up of clay and limestone, but there are variations in each. La Migoua is made up of heterogeneous clay that varies in colour between red, ochre, and blue. At 270 meters, it sits at the highest altitude of all the vineyards. The parcel’s complex sedimentation is largely due to the subduction of a tectonic plate which has surfaced the oldest rock outcroppings in the whole of the appellation. Surrounded by garrigue and pine forest, the grapes translate to earthy, gamey wines. La Migoua has the smallest amount of Mourvèdre in the blend, with the highest percentage of Grenache of the three cuvées. La Tourtine sits just above Cabassaou. The soil here is more homogeneous, with rich clay. La Tourtine produces powerful, tannic wines with gorgeous fruit character. Since Cabassaou sits lower on this hillside, it is protected from the strength of the Mistral, enjoying temperate breezes and maximum sunshine. There is ripeness, density and power in these wines.

Tempier’s 2016 Vintage

“Every year we try to look for similarities and compare the new vintage with the previous ones. And every year we have to admit that the each one is unique and 2016 is no exception to the rule.

After the end of 2015 harvest it rained several times, but not a lot and that was followed by a mild, dry winter.

Spring was also dry; it rained several times but not very much, not enough to fill the water table. The weather was unusually cool, the atmospheric conditions were very good.

Summer came along; it was very dry and got hotter and hotter with a lot of wind until the harvest.

We had thought of not starting very early due to the cool conditions at the beginning of the season and late ripening, but then the hot and dry weather at the end of August made us start harvesting on August 26 for the rosé wine. There was some rain on Septembre 14, but it didn’t improve ripening or the plant’s health. The grapes were very healthy; we sought the best compromise between maturity and balance.

We must congratulate our teams who are required to adapt to more and more surprising harvesting conditions. Thanks to them we managed to harvest the two sites with maximum efficiency.

Indeed, it was the very first time we made wine from La Laidière whose vines we had been tending for a year. Despite the different orientation and soil, we noticed very little difference in maturity between the two sites : we started and finished at the same time, with the similar ripening gap between the vine varieties.

We expected a dramatic loss of volume due to lack of rain. In fact it is only 15% and we are amazed that the vines were able to withstand the drought. It seems our preliminary work on preparing the soil was worthwhile, along with a bountiful growth this year.

The fermenting stage is long: due to the drought there was little yeast on the grape skins.

The first tasting are promising. The wines are balanced thanks to the remarkable freshness for the sort of year we went trough. We’ll have to wait longer before making an announcement about the 2016 potentiel, which again is different from the former ones.”

Daniel RAVIER, Novemeber 2016

Where is Bandol?

Right on the coast between Marseille and Toulon.

Click to view full size map


Where in the world does the magic happen?

Domaine Tempier, Chemin des Fanges, Le Castellet, France







<span style="font-weight: 400;">France has gone on a roller coaster ride. A booming industry was decimated by mildew and phylloxera in the second half of the 19th century, then two World Wars in the 20th century. Thirst won in the end, and, France is now the World’s #2 wine producer by volume.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Without doubt the two greatest drivers of the French wine industry have been the concept of </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Terroir</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and the establishment of the </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Appellation d’origine contrôlée</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Combined these have defined a philosophical approach to growing and making wine and enforced strict controls of grape varieties that can be planted in each region and winemaking practices that can be employed.</span> <span style="font-weight: 400;">Frances has come through with flying colours, successive generations have been better trained, spent time in the New World exposing them to different techniques for growing vines and making wine, and, have been able to push the boundaries to achieve excellence.</span> <b>First Records of Wine Production</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - Go back millennia to the 6th century BC. The Greeks kicked things off with the Romans ramping things up. Those Romans got around and took their vines and wines with them! Over time the wealth of the Monastries took over much of the production. Nobility took their turn until the guillotine fell!</span> <b>Founding Figures</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - In ‘recent times’, technical advancement in the industry were driven by Minister of the Interior, Jean-Antoine Chaptal following the French revolution, work done by Louis Pasteur in the 19th century, and, the Emperor Napoleon III commissioning of the 1855 classification of Bordeaux.</span> <b>Area Planted</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - with around 630,000 hectares of vines France produces 17% of the World’s wine</span> <b>Established Regions</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - When we think French wine, the regions that immediately come to mind are <a href="">Champagne</a> with its fizz, <a href="">Bordeaux’s</a> Cabernet blends and <a href="">Sauternes</a>, <a href="">Burgundy’s</a> Pinot and Chardonnay, the <a href="">Rhône Valley’s</a> Shiraz, Grenache, Marsanne & Roussane, and, <a href="">Alsatian</a> Riesling.</span> <b>Most Common Varieties</b> <b>White</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - From greatest area planted down the top red varieties are Ugni Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Melon de Bourgogne, Sémillon, Chennin Blanc, Colombard, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Grenache Blanc, Viognier, and, Riesling.</span> <b>Red</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - The list doesn’t surprise the order they come in does from greatest area planted down the top red varieties are Merlot, Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Gamay, Pinot Noir, Cinsaut, Pinot Meunier and Mourvèdre.</span> <b>Up and Coming Regions</b><span style="font-weight: 400;"> - In recent times we’ve seen the Rosé of Provence, the hidden gems from the <a href="">Languedoc</a>, Jura and <a href="">Loire Valley</a> increasing in popularity. </span>