Exclusive offer: 3/24/2023 — Rarities of Domaine Tempier, plus 2015 Les Pallieres Gigondas

Offer available through Monday, 3/6/2023, or as inventory lasts.

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Hi everyone –

Sometimes the stars align in a wonderful way.

There is a distributor in Minnesota that has quite a large national presence. When this company first moved into the Minnesota market in 2011, they purchased a small fine wine distributor to get a foot in the door. Everybody expected that this big company would move to a big warehouse in order to have all their inventory at hand … but they had a different plan.

They decided to warehouse in Chicago.

Huh? How does that make sense?

It turns out to work quite well. The Minnesota sales reps sell from the Chicago stock, a truck is loaded every evening and drives overnight to Bloomington, where the wine is unloaded (to officially “land” in Minnesota, which is part of the liquor laws), then reloaded onto trucks and shipped to the retailers and restaurants. The Minnesota operation runs with literally zero inventory in the state, and all accounts get their product within 24 hours.

What does that mean for us? It means we can tap into the treasure trove of the warehouse that supplies one of the largest markets in the country.

(Interestingly, even through they drive through Wisconsin, they cannot do the same thing there. Wisconsin has a ‘first landing’ position in their liquor laws that allow state-to-state transfer OUT of Wisconsin but not INTO Wisconsin. Welcome to the crazy world of post-prohibition America, where every state is different.)

So the attentive sales rep for this distributor dug into his inventory reports and reached out to us. “Hey Jason and Chuck – I see some 2015 Gigondas is in the warehouse in Chicago, plus the single vineyards of Domaine Tempier just landed. Do you want some?”


A note on quantities

We only have ONE CASE of each of these wines available, and that is it. So don’t hesitate, for they are sure to sell out.

2015 Les Pallières “Terrasse du Diable” Gigondas

Why this single case of 2015 Gigondas was sitting around is a mystery to me. Not only is it one of the top producers but it’s from a particularly delicious vintage. When you’re looking at vintage charts for the Southern Rhône, you have to take the info with a grain of salt, for there are TONS of micro-climates in the region. Gigondas in particular has an earlier springtime and a cooler summer than Chateauneuf-du-Pape, even though they are right next to each other.

Great reviews on this wine:

94 points Jeb Dunnuck

Bright violet. Heady aromas of ripe black and blue fruits, potpourri and licorice are complemented by smoky mineral and spice nuances that emerge with air. Juicy, expansive black raspberry and bitter cherry flavors become sweeter and put on weight with aeration while retaining a graceful touch. Velvety tannins lend subtle grip to an impressively long, mineral-laced finish that echoes the floral note.

93 points Wine Spectator

Dark and focused, with cassis, blackberry and black currant fruit flavors spliced together, racing along atop mouthwatering bramble, lavender and rosemary accents. A bright iron streak pierces the finish, adding lift and range. Best from 2019 through 2027.

This is a rare opportunity to grab 2015 Gigondas from a great producer at a great price.

An incredible offer on Domaine Tempier

As many of your know, I hold Domaine Tempier in the upper echelon of the top wineries in the world, along with the likes of Ridge Vineyards, The Eyrie Vineyards, Armand Rousseau, and Lopez de Herredia Viña Tondonia. It’s an amazing brand with an incredible story, which I shared in detail just last month when we were offered some 2019 Tempier Bandol (which is also on the shelf at Solo Vino if you want to pick some up).

With this offer we have the newly released 2021 white, along with three reds from the outstanding 2020 vintage.

Learn more about Bandol as a region: https://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-bandol

Domaine Tempier Blanc, 2021

While the estate is best known for their legendary rosé and red, they also produce a rarely seen white that is equally delicious. Making great white wine in Bandol can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, for being near the Mediterranean Sea you don’t get the wide diurnal temperature swings that tend to help white wines stay crisp and lively. But the particular terroir of Tempier, combined with old vines and top notch winemaking, solve that problem.

Loaded with flavors of fleshy white peach, honeysuckle, crushed white flowers, pear skin, and minerals. Rich, viscous, nervy, and wonderfully lemony, Domaine Tempier has created white Bandol masterpiece. A freshly grilled fish and a hot summer day know no better companion.

From the Importer, Kermit Lynch:

In the Tempier cellars—and in the Bandol appellation as a whole—white wine represents just 5% of the production. Vigneron Daniel Ravier crafts this Provençal rarity from Clairette, Ugni, Bourboulenc, Rolle, and Marsanne grown on terraced hillsides in a cooler corner of the AOC historically renowned for the quality of its Bandol blancs. These recently acquired vineyards now make up most of the blend, bringing a newfound energy to complement the sun-kissed fruit, while Daniel’s vinification in oak foudres accentuates length, structure, and what the French call verticalité.

Tempier’s blanc, with its delicate florals, subtle note of anise, and stony finish, tastes perfect alongside shellfish or grilled seafood. After a few years in your cellar, pair it with cheeses or serve it alone to appreciate what Daniel calls “honeyed and marine aromas” that develop with age.


Domaine Tempier “Lulu and Lucien” Bandol 2020

This is the new designation of the ‘regular’ bottling of Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge. With the passing of Lulu at age 103, the family wanted to honor the tradition and vision of Lulu and Lucien. Going forward, the flagship Bandol Rouge will carry their names.

Lucien and Lulu of Domaine Tempier

The new release is 91-93 points Wine Advocate (barrel sample):

Tasted from foudre, the 2020 Bandol Cuvee Classique had been blended the week before my visit. Already showing classic notes of tree bark and truffle layered against cherries and raspberries and a touch of olive, it looks relatively precocious. In the mouth, it’s medium to full-bodied, concentrated and rich, with a long, plush finish.

This wine is the standard-bearer, the one to have on your shelf or in your cellar. The Tempier Bandol is drinking better earlier than ever before (I’d still hold onto this one until at least the summer or fall), but can age gracefully for 10-15 years without hesitation.

The rare single vineyards: La Migoula and La Tourtine

These are the rarities, hardly ever seen in the Minnesota market. They also represent iconic wines that really speak of the place of Bandol and the Mourvedre grape.

La Migoula

From the producer’s website:

Located on the Beausset Vieux hillside, at an altitude of 300 meters, La Migoua consists of scattered parcels circled by wild scrubland. An extraordinary geological accident formed very complex soil. A sheet of rock was added to a geological reversal with older underground rock layers of limestone, dolomite and dedo-lomite. The rugged relief provides different exposure to the sun (east, west and south), generally less affected by the Mistral, a strong northwesterly wind. The select La Migoua cuvée expresses all the specificity of this 11-hectare site.

Mourvèdre (55%), completed with Cinsault (~ 25%) and Grenache (~ 15%) and Syrah.
Average age of the vines: 40 years


92-94 points Wine Advocate:

The 2020 Bandol la Migoua—tasted from foudre—is a bit tarry and rubbery (expected, to some degree, in young Mourvèdre-based wines) but opens up to reveal seductive, ripe notes of blackberries and mulberries. A blend of approximately 55% Mourvèdre, 25% Cinsault, 15% Grenache and 5% Syrah, it’s medium to full-bodied on the palate, concentrated but silky in feel and elegant on the long finish.

La Tourtine

From the producer’s website:

Located near Castellet, this terroir is extremely windy but also exposed to the sun from sunrise to sunset. The soil is composed of sandstone and marl of the Santonien (75-90 Ma); gypsum can be found on the surface. Although located at the top of the hill, the soil is relatively deep with a lot of clay. The vines mature easily on the hillside favorable to mourvèdre. It is said that mourvèdre likes to look at the sea with its feet in the water (in other words with sufficient water supplies).

La Tourtine blends power and elegance. The cuvée is selected from this exceptionsl terroir of only 5.5 hectares.

Mourvèdre (~85%), with Grenache and Cinsault.
Average age of the vines : 45-50 years


94-96 points Wine Advocate:

Mainly Mourvèdre (85%), with Cinsault and Grenache, the 2020 Bandol la Tourtine was still in foudre at the time of my visit last year. Scents of cola, smoke and red berries provide ample complexity on the nose, while the medium to full-bodied palate is concentrated and almost creamy in texture while remaining fresh and dynamic on the lengthy finish.

Buying advice

This is a pretty extraordinary offer. The 2015 Gigondas is a no-brainer and I bet will be the first to sell out. The wines of Domaine Tempier are simply some of the best in the world, and here’s an opportunity to assemble an amazing collection of 2020 vintage wines to compare and contrast with wine friends later this year or at some point in the future.

But as we’re starting to see some green grass as this year’s snow melts, and as we dream about sitting in the sun and enjoying flowers blooming in our yards, I just gotta say that I CAN’T WAIT to pop the Tempier Bandol Blanc and enjoy it with some fish tacos. I … can’t … wait!

Thank you, everyone! We couldn’t do this without you!

Jason Kallsen
Sommelier and founder/owner of Twin Cities Wine Education

Offer is open Friday at 3:00pm central until Monday at 6:00pm central, or as inventory lasts.

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