Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuveé la Tourtine

Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rouge Cuveé la Tourtine, 2012

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2012

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    France

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    14%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Mourvedre 85%, Grenache 10%, Cinsaut 5%
  • Rating

    WS 93

Located near Castellet, this terroir is extremely windy but also exposed to the sun from sunrise to sunset. The soil is composed of sandstone and marl of the Santonien (75-90 Ma); gypsum can be found on the surface.

Although located at the top of the hill, the soil is relatively deep with a lot of clay. The vines mature easily on the hillside favourable to Mourvèdre. It is said that Mourvèdre likes to look at the sea with its feet in the water (in other words with sufficient water supplies).

La Tourtine blends power and elegance. The cuvée is selected from this exceptional terroir of only 5.5 hectares. 20y+ aging potential. The grapes are hand-selected in the vineyard and the cellar; de-stemmed, crushed and put into concrete vats for 3 or 4 weeks to ferment thanks to indigenous yeasts. The wine is then aged in large oak vats for 18 months before being bottled.

About Domaine Tempier

Domaine Tempier is one of the most significant producers in the Bandol appellation of Provence, in southern France. It is best-known for its structured red wines made from Mourvèdre, but like most producers in the region it also makes a rosé wine.

The domaine was established in the 1830s and grew in prominence under Léonie Tempier, who brought fame to the company in 1885 by winning a gold medal for her Mourvèdre-dominant red wine. However, by the early 20th century phylloxera had devastated the region's vines and wine industry. Mourvèdre was largely replaced by higher-yield varieties or by different crops altogether.

In 1936, Léonie’s great-granddaughter Lucie Tempier married aspiring winemaker Lucien Peyraud. As a wedding present, Peyraud was given an old vintage of Domaine Tempier wine. He was so impressed he joined in an effort to revive pre-phylloxera traditions at the family estate and in Bandol itself. In 1941, Bandol was awarded AOC status, stipulating a minimum of 50 percent Mourvèdre and 18 months of barrel aging for reds. The Peyraud family still plays a significant part in the winemaking process and the domaine remains family-owned.

Located near Le Plan du Castellet in the heart of Bandol, Domaine Tempier has vineyards in three different communes: Le Castellet, Le Beausset and La Cadière. It makes four wines from these sites: a standard Bandol and three single-vineyard wines called La Migoua, La Tourtine and Cabassaou. Tempier's Bandol Blanc is mostly Clairette with small amounts of Ugni Blanc, Bourboulenc and Marsanne. The rosé, like the reds, is Mourvèdre-dominant, but the Bandol AOC allows the use of Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut and Carignan.

Grape variety
Cinsaut

Cinsaut or Cinsault is a red wine grape, whose heat tolerance and productivity make it important in Languedoc-Roussillon and the former French colonies of Algeria, Lebanon and Morocco. It is often blended with grapes such as Grenache and Carignan to add softness and bouquet.

It has many synonyms, of which perhaps the most confusing is its sale as a table grape called 'Oeillade', although it is different from the "true" Oeillade which is no longer cultivated. In South Africa, it was known as "Hermitage", hence the name of its most famous cross Pinotage.

The vine can produce heavy crops, but wines are much better if yields are controlled. Cinsaut is very drought resistant but can be susceptible to disease, so appreciates a dry climate. It produces large cylindrical bunches of black grapes with fairly thick skins.

Alternative Names: Cinsault, Cinqsaut, Cinq-saou, Ottavianello, Oeillade, Black Malvoisie, Blue Imperial, Black Prince, Samso

Grenache

Grenache or Garnacha is one of the most widely planted red wine grape varieties in the world. It ripens late, so it needs hot, dry conditions such as those found in Spain, where the grape most likely originated. It is also grown in the Italian isle of Sardinia, the south of France, Australia, and California's Monterey AVA and San Joaquin Valley.

It is generally spicy, berry-flavoured and soft on the palate and produces wine with a relatively high alcohol content, but it needs careful control of yields for best results. Characteristic flavour profiles on Grenache include red fruit flavours (raspberry and strawberry) with a subtle, white pepper spice note. Grenache wines are highly prone to oxidation, with even young examples having the potential to show browning (or "bricking") coloration that can be noticed around the rim when evaluating the wine at an angle in the glass. As Grenache ages the wines tend to take on more leather and tar flavours. Wines made from Grenache tend to lack acid, tannin and colour, and it is often blended with other varieties such as Syrah, Carignan, Tempranillo, and Cinsaut.

In Spain, there are mono-varietal wines made of Garnacha tinta (red Grenache), notably in the southern Aragon wine regions of Calatayud, Carinena and Campo de Borja, but it is also used in blends, as in some Rioja wines with tempranillo. Grenache is the dominant variety in most Southern Rhône wines, especially in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where it is typically over 80% of the blend. In Australia it is typically blended in "GSM" blends with Syrah (commonly known as Shiraz in that country) and Mourvèdre with old vine examples in McLaren Vale. In Italy, the Sardinian D.O.C. wine Cannonau di Sardegna is by law 90% local Grenache (Cannonau). Grenache is also used to make rosé wines in France and Spain, notably those of the Tavel district in the Côtes du Rhône and those of the Navarra region. And the high sugar levels of Grenache have led to extensive use in fortified wines, including the red vins doux naturels of Roussillon such as Banyuls, and as the basis of most Australian fortified wine.

Grenache is often used as a blending component, adding body and sweet fruitiness to a wine. The grape can be troublesome for the winemaker due to tendency to oxidize easily and lose colour. To compensate for the grape's naturally low tannins and phenolic compounds, some producers will use excessively harsh pressing and hot fermentation with stems to extract the maximal amount of colour and phenols from the skins. This can backfire to produce green, herbaceous flavours and coarse, astringent wine lacking the grape's characteristic vibrant fruitiness. To maintain those character traits, Grenache responds best to a long, slow fermentation at cooler temperatures followed by a maceration period. To curb against oxidation, the wine should be racked as little as possible. The use of new oak barrels can help with retaining colour and preventing oxidation but too much oak influence can cover up the fruitiness of Grenache.

The high levels of sugars and lack of harsh tannins, makes Grenache well adapted to the production of fortified wines, such as the vin doux naturels (VDN) of the Roussillon region and the "port-style" wines of Australia. In these wines, the must ferments for three days before grape spirit is added to the must to halt the fermentation and the conversion of sugar into alcohol. The high alcoholic proof grape spirit brings the finished wine up to 15–16% alcohol. These wines can be made in a rancio style by being left outside in glass demi-johns (or carboys) or wooden barrels where the wine bakes in the sun for several years until it develops a maderized character and flavours of sour raisins, nuts and cheese. These fortified VDNs and port-style wines have longevity and can be drinkable well into their third decade.

Alternative Names: Alicante, Cannonau, Garnacha, Garnacha Tinta, Garnatxa, Granaccia, Grenache Noir, Lladoner, Tinto Aragones, Tocai Rosso

Mourvèdre

Mourvèdre is a red wine grape variety grown in many regions around the world including the Rhône and Provence regions of France, the Valencia and Jumilla denominaciones de origen of Spain, as well as the Balearic Islands, California and Washington and the Australian regions of South Australia and New South Wales, as well as South Africa. In addition to making red varietal wines, Mourvèdre is a prominent component in "GSM" (Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre) blends. The variety is also used to make rosé and port-style fortified wines.

Mourvèdre tends to produce tannic wines that can be high in alcohol. The style of wine produced from the grapes varies greatly according to where it is produced, but according to wine expert Jancis Robinson Mourvèdre wines often have wild game, or earthy notes to them, with soft red fruit flavours. According to wine expert Oz Clarke, young Mourvèdre can come across as faulted due to the reductive, sulfur notes and "farmyard-y" flavours that some wines can exhibit before those flavours mellow with age.

The variety can be a difficult grape to grow, preferring "its face in the hot sun and its feet in the water" meaning that it needs very warm weather, a low leaf-to-fruit ratio but adequate water or irrigation to produce intensely flavoured fruit that is not overly jammy or herbaceous. The vines' susceptibility to many viticultural hazards such as powdery and downy mildew as well as overly vigorous foliage can present additional problems for vine growers.

The small, thick-skin berries of Mourvèdre are high in phenolic compounds that have the potential to produce a deeply coloured, very tannic wine with significant alcohol levels if harvested at high sugar levels. However, the variety is rarely harvested at sugar levels below 13% alcohol (approx 23 Brix) because the flavours at those lower levels are often very weak and herbaceous. In winemaking, wines made from Mourvèdre are prone to both oxidation and reductive flavours (such as hydrogen sulphide) if care is not taken at the winery. While in Bandol, it is common to ferment Mourvèdre with the stems, the grapes usually go through a crusher/destemmer in New World regions such as a California due to the harsher, green tannins that are more typical of the stems in those regions. While the wine can be stored in oak barrels, it often does not absorb oak flavours as well as other varieties (such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) so it is often stored in neutral oak or large format barrels.

In many regions of the world, Mourvèdre is often blended with other varieties such as Grenache and Syrah in the "GSM" blends of Rhône, Australia and the United States. In these blends, Mourvèdre often provides colour, fruit and some tannic structure to complement the fruity Grenache and elegant Syrah. In Provence and Rhône it also sometimes blended with Cinsault and Carignan as part of both red table wines and rosé. In Australia, the variety is sometimes used in fortified port-style wines.

According to wine expert Jancis Robinson, in favourable vintages Mourvèdre can produce highly perfumed wines with intense fruit flavours and notes of blackberries and gamy or meaty flavours. Oz Clarke notes that some examples of Mourvèdre may come across as faulted in their youth with "farmyard-y" and strong herbal flavours. As the wine ages, more earthy tertiary aromas may develop before becoming more leather and gingerbread aroma notes.

In both Old and New World wine regions, Mourvèdre is a popular grape to be used in rosé winemaking. These wines can be made as a dedicated rosé where the skins are allowed only a brief period of skin contact (a few hours or a single day) before they are pressed or as saignée where some of the juice destined for a red Mourvèdre is "bled off" during fermentation creating two separate wines - a darker, more concentrated red wine and the lighter rosé.

Alternative Names: Monastrell, Mataro, Esparte, Etrangle-Chien

About Bandol

Bandol is a key appellation of the Provence wine region in far south-eastern France. Created in 1941, the title covers red, white and rosé wines from roughly 1550 hectares (3830 acres) of vineyards around the Mediterranean coastal town of Bandol. These are spread unevenly across eight communes in the Var departement, with the majority being located just north of Bandol itself, in Le Beausset, La Cadière-d'Azur, Le Castellet and Évenos.

Bandol is most famous for its red wines, which make up the majority of the appellation's output. These contain a high proportion of Mourvèdre – the appellation rules require at least 50 percent. Using this quantity of such a spicy, powerful grape variety makes for a very characterful wine – one that would be hard to create in any other area of France. Mourvèdre will only ripen reliably in a climate as sunny and hot as that which prevails along the Mediterranean coast.

Grenache is the other main component of Bandol red (and rosé) wines. It is an earlier-ripening variety and actually risks over-ripeness in the intense climate here, bringing too much potential alcohol to the wines. This has turned out to be less of an inconvenience than it might seem; the local vignerons plant Grenache on the cooler, north-facing slopes and Mourvèdre on the warmer, south-facing slopes. Cinsaut is the final key ingredient in Bandol rouge, accompanied by up to 20 percent of the Carignan and Syrah grape varieties.

Bandol rosé wines, which account for about a third of total output, are known for their spicy, earthy character and rank among the more distinguished rosés that France has to offer. Like the reds, they are made from a blend that is dominated by Mourvedre, Grenache and Cinsaut. Alexandre Dumas' Count of Monte Cristo famously enjoyed a glass of Bandol rose "bien frais".

The appellation's white wines are made predominantly from Clairette (which is required by law to make up 50 to 90 percent of any Bandol Blanc), bolstered by Bourboulenc and Ugni Blanc, plus a small quantity of Marsanne and Vermentino or the Bordeaux white varieties Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

Throughout Provence, a series of low coastal mountain ranges and ridges creates varied mesoclimates. The warmest are those directly next to the Mediterranean, which also provides a moderating effect. The stretch of coastline that is home to the Bandol and Cassis appellations is a prime example of this. Protected from cold north winds by the Montagne Sainte-Victoire and the Massif de la Sainte-Baume to the north, and the Chaîne de Saint-Cyr to the west, the vines here enjoy sheltered, warm growing conditions.

The highly desirable French Riviera real estate occupied by the Bandol vineyards, coupled with the spread of tourism in the region, means that the greatest threats to the future of Bandol wine are bricks and mortar, rather than climate change or shifting market trends. Holiday resorts and golf courses are already making their mark on the landscape here, occupying sites once covered with vines – particularly to the west of Bandol town itself.

Regular price $530.00

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