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Bandol Rouge for a Summer Evening

Bandol Rouge for a Summer Evening

by Dustin Soiseth by Dustin Soiseth

2020 Bandol Rouge “Lulu et Lucien”

2020 Bandol Rouge “Lulu et Lucien”

Domaine Tempier   

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Domaine Tempier    France   |  Provence   |  Bandol

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“Summertime wine? Certain reds work and others don’t. When it turns hot, some reds we import reveal unexpected virtues if served at a cool temperature. Either uncork one right up from a cool cellar, or, particularly if you are dining outdoors, place the bottle in a lightly iced bucket. Or put the red in the fridge until it’s cool, not cold. We have red wines that shine under such conditions. Domaine Tempier’s is one.”

— Kermit in the August 1987 newsletter

Tempier’s flagship Bandol rouge is a sophisticated wine, but it never hides its country roots. It is as equally suited to ribeyes for a special occasion as it is to homemade pizza on a Thursday night. You can even enjoy it as Lulu Peyraud did, and just put a slight chill on it before popping the cork on a warm summer evening. A cool glass of Tempier rouge, sweating in a small tumbler, can be more refreshing than any burly red has a right to be.
      But no matter how you enjoy Tempier rouge, beneath the pure dark fruit, the intense depth of flavor, the energy, the enticing Provençal aromatics, lurks a wildness—perhaps owing to the large percentage of Mourvèdre—that is never tamed. Or as Kermit wrote, “there is always something wild and unpredictable about it, spirited, shall we say, yet it is honest and impeccable, full of warmth and finesse.”

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About The Region

Provence

map of Provence

There is perhaps no region more closely aligned with the history of Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant than Provence. While Kermit began his career as a Burgundy specialist, he soon fell in love with Provence and its wines, notably the legendary Bandols of Domaine Tempier, which he began importing in 1977. He later began living in the area part-time, returning frequently between tasting trips, and today he spends most of his time at his home just outside of Bandol.

Provence is thought to be France’s most ancient wine region, established when Greek settlers landed in the modern-day port city of Marseille in the 6th century BC. The conditions here are ideal for cultivation of the grapevine, with a hot, dry climate and a prevalence of poor, rocky soils, primarily limestone-based, suitable for vines and not much else. The ever-present southern sunshine as well as the mistral, a cold, drying wind from the northwest that helps keep the vines free of disease, are crucial elements of Provençal terroir. Wild herbs from the pervasive scrubland, called garrigue, and cooling saline breezes from the Mediterranean also contribute to the quality and character of wines in all three colors.

Provence is well known for its rosés, but red wines have always held importance here. The very best, such as those from Bandol, possess great depth and a capacity for long-term aging. The white wines, notably those of Cassis, offer weight balanced by a maritime freshness, making them ideal pairings for the local seafood. Mourvèdre reigns king for red grapes, supported mainly by Grenache and Cinsault, while Clairette, Marsanne, Rolle, and Ugni Blanc are the region’s principal white grapes.

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Vintage illustration of men rolling barrels.

We only import wine we drink and enjoy ourselves, directly from the source.

Our wine tastes the same in your home as it did where it was bottled in Europe.

Like the long-term relationships we build with growers, we build long-term relationships with our clients. Have a question? Need wine advice? Just give us a call—510-524-1524.

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