April 2004
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Day April 3, 2004

Tempier Bandol tasting

A group of us tasted a suite of Tempier wines last Thursday at Cafe Campagne in Seattle. After beginning with a terrific rose champagne from Vilmart, the Cuvee Rubis, we got a preview of the Trimbach Cuvee Frederic Emile from 2000. The wine, even this young (hand carried from France, it’s not yet available here), was lush with open lemony fruit and huge minerality. There was no hint of being shut down yet, as is typical with young CFE’s.

The first Tempier was the 1979 Tourtine, and it was in beautiful shape. The color was great, with only a hint of age. The aroma was still huge and characteristically Tempier, with just a hint of brown sugar spice on the nose and palate. The finish retained a lot of the “leathery” component I prize in these wines, and just a hint of the Mourvedre funk. An incredible bottle, especially given how rare old Tempier is.

We followed with a 1993 Cabassaou, which has settled down from its tannic, savage youth and become a lovely wine. The nose had minty high toned notes, with blood and meat on the palate, and fairly silky tannins.

Finishing the reds, we opened a 1990 Cabassaou, which was soft, leathery, but with a serious core of fruit and decent tannins. Iron fist in velvet glove tannins. It’s a very balanced wine, and is drinking quite well now, but I’m going to save the other bottles for a few years because it’s just coming into maturity — there’s a long way to go.

Dessert was accompanied by a Christoffel Urz Wurz 1997 BA (incredible), and a Selbach-Oster 2001 Zelt Himm Eiswein “Junior” (also very good). Nobody was particularly interested in my 1998 Balbach Niersteiner Oelberg Eiswein, so I keep hauling it around in my bag…