2017 Domaine Tempier, Bandol Rosé, Provence, France.
Lulu’s pink wine is one of the world great treats and become to some, me included, the right of passage into Summer, the Domaine Tempier has a reputation for being the absolute best Rosé, and it certainly is one of the most sought after and fought over. Lulu Peyraud is the matriarch of Domaine Tempier, she is legendary and her estate’s red wines can easily age with the elite Bordeaux that litter the top cellars of the rich and famous, it was her husband, Lucien, who help push through the AOC status for this unique terroir back in the late thirties and early forties and championed Mourvèdre here, making it the main grape. Lulu herself was a renown chef and sought to bring Provencal cuisine to the world, she has entertained the likes of Alice Waters and Julia Child, inspiring everyone she met. While these days I might go for the Clos Cibonne Tibouren Cotes de Provence Rosé Cuvee Speciale des Vignettes,  it’s hard not to love the much hyped, again by me as well, Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé with it’s inviting color and mouth filling palate that skirts the fine line between hedonistic density of form and lively refreshment to perfection with gorgeous texture and sharp detail, this 2017 is everything you’d expect from this famous estate. Farmed all biodynamic and from this spectacularly picturesque sea side region it France’s Provence, the Domaine Tempier Rosé is made from mostly Mourvèdre of course and grown on clay and limestone soils overlooking the blue Mediterranean, the vines and cellar are over seen by the talented Daniel Ravier, as well as Lulu’s sons taking over, with Jean-Marie sharing in the management of the domaine as well as helping in the winemaking, and with François working in the vineyards. The Rosé is crafted from 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Grenache Noir and 20% Cinsault, pretty much the recipe these days here, it is from mainly 20 year old vines, and made by using 50% saignée and 50% done direct press (with early picks), it is all malolactic fermentation, which adds that sensation of a full body and opulence, while being raised 50% in stainless steel vats and 50% in concrete tanks for about 7 months allowing for more complexity and refinement upon release. There is great precision and attention to detail in the production of Tempier’s Rosé, it is a luxurious and vivid pink showing bright watermelon, strawberry, tart cherry and vibrant grapefruit layers, it has a fine mineral tone and hints at savory, with faint herbs and briar spice, while the nose is beautiful with rosewater and wet stones leading the way, this is as promised something ultra special, especially true this vintage. No one ever should pass up a chance to have this wine, it is without doubt Summer in the glass, drink up.
($48 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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