Each vintage, fans of Domaine Tempier will engage in fervent arguments in favor of their preferred single-vineyard cuvée. The choice is never easy, with Migoua, Tourtine, and Cabassaou each offering distinct qualities bound to appeal to different palates. While each cuvée—and any Bandol red, for that matter—offers earthy black fruit, wild herbaceous qualities, and chewy, almost rustic tannins, La Tourtine perhaps best expresses the paradoxical combination of power and elegance that is a trademark of the Domaine's wines. One of the best terroirs in the appellation, La Tourtine is a terraced hillside whose southern exposure at the top of a hill gives it ample exposure to the elements—namely, the fierce Provençal sun and incessant howl of the mistral. Deep clay soils yield rich, dense wines while a high proportion of Mourvèdre, including some very old vines, ensure that concentration is never lacking. In the 2017, you'll find sumptuous black fruit backed by a thick, fleshy tannic structure, plus hints of pine forest, sun-baked clay, and resinous garrigue. Drinkable now with the aeration but endowed with solid aging potential, the 2017 Tourtine is certain to animate debates among impassioned Tempier drinkers for years to come.
-- Anthony Lynch, kermitlynch.com
Domaine Tempier was already in existence during the reign of Louis XV (1715-1774) and since that time it has continued to grow and evolve under the guidance of the Tempier and Peyraud families. Today it consists of 38 hectares spread over several vineyard parcels, all of which are located in the heart of Bandol. In 2000 François and Jean-Marie Peyraud ceded control of day to day operations of the estate to Daniel Ravier, a young agricultural engineer from Savoie. Since taking over, Daniel has upheld the estates philosophy by continuing to champion wines based on Mourvèdre and by promoting one of the unique features of the estate. Namely, its ability to produce single vineyard wines that showcase the individual terroirs of Bandol. All the vineyards are carefully maintained without chemical fertilizers or herbicides and recent investments has allowed for the renovation of the cellar, the replacement of barrels and the installation of a new vinification system. These changes have permitted Daniel to improve the quality of the wines while ensuring that the estate's legacy of producing powerful, full bodied wines that are capable of ageing for many years continues uninterrupted.