2021 Domaine Tempier Bandol "La Cabassaou", Provence, France
ABOUT THIS WINE
The Cabassaou cuvée (ça cabasse = gives a hefty punch) is from a terroir with small stone walls, at the bottom of the Tourtine, protected from the Mistral wind. The vines benefit from a very warm micro-climate with thermal winds. Paradoxically the vines are located at the bottom of the hill but the soil is not deep and the yields are very small. They give a very dense, tight wine, typically Mourvèdre , with an exceptional aging potential.
The grapes are hand-selected in the vineyard and in the cellar; de-stemmed, crushed and put into concrete vats for 3 or 4 weeks to ferment thanks to indigenous yeasts. Aging takes place In large oak vats for 18 months before being bottled.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Bandol is a small appellation on the Mediterranean, granted AOC status in 1941. For centuries it has produced some of the longest-lived wines in France, using primarily the Mourvedre grape. Wines from this region have unique aromatic properties which many claim come from the dry Provencal herbs which cover the hillsides: thyme, savory, rosemary, wild mint and fennel.
Provencal royalty Domaine Tempier has done it again with their 2019 Bandol Rouge, dominating the soils of Provence for the better half of the 20th century. ‘Cabassaou’ is comprised predominantly of Mourvedre, showing notes of dark fruit, licorice, and garrigue spice. Insanely food friendly; a solid example of how delicious Provencal reds can be. A regional benchmark! Perhaps the addition of young Mourvedre is responsible, or the Peyraud's allowance for the wine to follow its natural inclination and complete malolactic fermentation. Provence’s leader in concentrated and age-worthy red wines, Bandol is home to the dense, deep and earthy Mourvèdre grape. Like Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Bandol produces characterful reds that, while approachable in their youth, are typically designed for the cellar. Given its coastal, Provencal situation, Bandol also naturally produces an assortment of charming, aromatic rosés made of Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault.
The three single-vineyards of Domaine Tempier are: La Migoua, La Tourtine, and Cabassaou. All are made up of clay and limestone, but there are variations in each. La Migoua is made up of heterogeneous clay that varies in color between red, ochre, and blue. At 270 meters, it sits at the highest altitude of all the vineyards. The parcel’s complex sedimentation is largely due to the subduction of a tectonic plate which has surfaced the oldest rock outcroppings in the whole of the appellation. Surrounded by garrigue and pine forest, the grapes translate to earthy, gamey wines. La Migoua has the smallest amount of Mourvèdre in the blend, with the highest percentage of Grenache of the three cuvées. La Tourtine sits just above Cabassaou. The soil here is more homogeneous, with rich clay. La Tourtine produces powerful, tannic wines with gorgeous fruit character. Since Cabassaou sits lower on this hillside, it is protected from the strength of the Mistral, enjoying temperate breezes and maximum sunshine. There is ripeness, density and power in these wines.