Great wine is said to have the power to transport us to a particular place. With this single-vineyard Bandol, we are brought to an isolated Provençal hillside overlooking a landscape of vines and small old villages with the Mediterranean off in the distance. The sounds of the chirping cigales is complemented by the gentle rustling of pines in the wind, a steady breeze that carries with it the perfume of the aromatic garrigue growing rampant in the dusty clay. At the domaine's highest-elevation site, Mourvèdre's might is gently enveloped by Grenache and Cinsault to yield a Bandol of great finesse. Its subtlety and elegance are traits that will be emphasized as it evolves over time. Young or old, this is a truly majestic wine, timeless evidence of the ideal marriage between the Mourvèdre grape and this special terroir. It is only fair to serve it alongside a dish that is equally rustic, soulful, and genuinely Provençal as this Bandol rouge. At Tempier, you might find a rabbit stew simmering over a low flame or a leg of lamb cooking slowly over hot coals. Generous use of garlic and rosemary will ensure a correct experience, bringing you as close to Bandol as possible without actually setting foot in the vineyards.
Of all of the domaines we represent, no other serves more as our cornerstone, stands more in the defense of terroir, and is more intricately interwoven with our own history, than that of the iconic Peyraud family of Domaine Tempier. When Lulu Tempier married Lucien Peyraud in 1936, her father gave them Domaine Tempier, a farm that had been in the family since 1834. Tasting a pre-phylloxera bottle of Tempier Bandol inspired Lucien to research the terroir extensively. By 1941, thanks to Lucien and neighboring vignerons, Bandol had its own A.O.C. Lucien will forever be celebrated as the Godfather of Bandol. Raising deep and structured wines of such refinement and longevity has made Domaine Tempier truly a grand cru de Provence.
Perhaps there is no region more closely aligned with the history to Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant than Provence. Provence is where Richard Olney, an American ex-pat and friend of Alice Waters, lived, and introduced Kermit to the great producers of Provence, most importantly Domaine Tempier of Bandol. Kermit also spends upwards of half his year at his home in a small town just outside of Bandol.
Vitis vinifera first arrived in France via Provence, landing in the modern day port city of Marseille in the 6th century BC. The influence of terroir on Provençal wines goes well beyond soil types. The herbs from the pervasive scrubland, often referred to as garrigue, as well as the mistral—a cold, drying wind from the northwest that helps keep the vines free of disease—play a significant role in the final quality of the grapes. Two more elements—the seemingly ever-present sun and cooling saline breezes from the Mediterranean—lend their hand in creating a long growing season that result in grapes that are ripe but with good acidity.
Rosé is arguably the most well known type of wine from Provence, but the red wines, particularly from Bandol, possess a great depth of character and ability to age. The white wines of Cassis and Bandol offer complexity and ideal pairings for the sea-influenced cuisine. Mourvèdre reigns king for red grapes, and similar to the Languedoc and Rhône, Grenache, Cinsault, Marsanne, Clairette, Rolle, Ugni Blanc among many other grape varieties are planted.
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