Domaine Tempier, 'Lulu & Lucien', Bandol Rouge, 2021

The wines of Bandol are legendarily some of the finest wines in France; certainly that reputation is upheld when you drink the wines from Tempier. 
This is a wonderfully layered, dense and structured wine that delivers supple tannins and a silky mouthfeel. The beautiful nose shows notes of cedar wood, coffee beans, black pepper, and very ripe, dark berries. The earthiness that develops on the palate is ripe yet savoury and provides a backbone for the dark fruit to shine. It's a sensational wine.
Bandol is famous in the wine world for being the region where the Mourvèdre variety plays a leading role, possibly starring in its best location in the world. The Tempier estate is heavily Mourvèdre-dominant with about 75% of the vineyard dedicated to it. Grenache, Carignan and Syrah complete the blend with vines grown in various plots of clay, sand, marl and limestone soils, with the average age of vines being about 35-40 years. The South of France in this eastern area is famous for warm winds and sunshine, of course, which both impact these vineyards as much as the southerly latitude.
Bunches are hand-harvested and de-stemmed before fermentation in concrete tanks to extract texture and preserve the fruit characteristics of the grapes. Such ripe and dark grapes can react particularly effectively with new wood, so the Domaine are careful to allow the flavours to shine through in the wine by using older wood and larger size barrels for the 18 months of ageing. 
The Lulu et Lucien cuvée is their flagship (if you exclude the extremely rare rosé!) and possesses the elegance and finesse that the powerful Bandol region often lacks outside of this highly-celebrated domaine.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable feats is that they have a wine that is so attractively approachable now. We credit the concrete fermenters for much of this, but it's also the vineyard, harvesting and gentle fruit handling practices that go into it too: all playing a part. That said, you can keep this for 15-20 years, without even a thought. 

Region: Bandol

Country: France

Grape(s): Mourvedre, Grenache, Cinsault

Style: Smooth, Organic, Full, Elegant, Complex, Broad, Biodynamic

Best food matches: Wild Boar, Venison, Veal, Steak, Roasts, Red Meats, Poultry, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef, Barbecue

Alcohol: 14%

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When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

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Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.