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Domaine Tempier in Bandol, Southern France

Domaine Tempier is is a producer that seems to have captured the hearts of so many people over the years. It was American importer Kermit Lynch who alerted much of the new world to these wines, taking them to America in the 1970s - Tempier’s first export market. In fact, of all the great producers Kermit Lynch took to America, Tempier is his clear favourite, as outlined in great beauty in his must-read book ‘Adventures on the Wine Route’.



I have liked the Tempier wines for quite a while, so when we realised that we’d basically be passing by their winery en route to a wedding in southern France, a quick phone call got us an appointment for the following day.


Despite their fame these days, Tempier is far from a glamorous winery. Besides the beauty of their surrounds, the winery itself is very basic and very much in use. And that’s what I love about it. The real beauty is in the wines…



Concrete tanks and old large-format botti populate the winery, where we lean over an up-turned barrel and taste the current release 2021 reds next to the 2022s that are being bottled the week of our arrival. We hear familiar updates regarding the weather, where the high rainfall of 2024 has well and truely broken the string of drought vintages from 2020-2023. The greeness and health of the vineyards that surround us remind us of similar sites Piedmont a few days earlier.


Although perhaps most famous for their rose (and indeed it’s very good), our real interest lies with the reds, so it was fascinating to taste through La Migoua, Tourtine and Cabassaou side by side. The wines impress us for their elegance and mouthfeel which juxtapose textures of grit and genuine earth-derived flavours. They’re soulful and giving and despite the hot and dry vintages, they seem so fresh and composed in the glass…



We leave like many have before us: charmed by the warmth of our hosts and by the quality of the wines. A visit like this really makes me want to bury some of these wines deep in my small collection of wine for years to come…