Mourvedre – New World and Old

Our French Winophiles group visited (virtually) Provence last weekend.  I love Provençal rosé, but I knew I had to pair a meal with a favorite wine of mine from Bandol, Domaine Tempier. When I open a classic from the “old world”, I always enjoy drinking it alongside a respectful version from the “new world”.  By respectful I mean a new world winery taking an approach that respects the old world tradition, but uniquely shows the new world earth and climate. With several good ones to choose from, I opened a Gramercy Cellars 2011 L’Idiot du Village.

Domaine Tempier from Bandol and Gramercy Cellars from Walla Walla, WA

Domaine Tempier from Bandol and Gramercy Cellars from Walla Walla, WA

Bandol = Mourvedre
Wines from the Provence village of Bandol must be composed of at least 50% Mourvedre.  Domaine Tempier’s Cuvee Classique is at least 70% as they are great promoters of the historic use of Mourvedre in this area. Gramercy Cellars’ L’idiot du Village is a Rhone blend, and the composition has changed over time.  Recently, their Mourvedre vines have been coming of age and have been featured more and more.  The 2011 contained 90% Mourvedre.

Neither one names the dominant grape, both are majority Mourvedre.

Neither one names the dominant grape, both are majority Mourvedre.

I hope you’re not looking for a winner. These were two beautiful bottles of wine. Related in a way by the grapes that started the journey, but unique and true to their origins.  Both were beautiful at the dinner table. Winner and Winner!

Leftovers deserve nice wines, right?

Leftovers deserve nice wines, right?

Leftovers Deserve Nice Wine
I opened both the Domaine Tempier and the Gramercy Cellars on day 1 to serve with my Winophiles Provence post. I sampled both on day 1, but concentrated on the Domaine Tempier with our French Winophiles theme. Day 2, different story!  We had leftover pork, but added barley and freshly roasted veggies on the grill. We enjoyed both wines over a dinner that didn’t seem much like leftovers. Of all the flavors at the meal, the roasted heriloom carrots were the highlight in the presence of these two wines.  These carrots had a stronger, earthier flavor than their grocery store brethren.  Those earthy flavors were elevated in the presence of these wines.

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rouge “Cuvee Classique” 2011 ($42 at South Lyndale Wines)
Eye: A touch of cloudiness, deep dark, nice purple edge. This wine is unfined and unfiltered, nice.
Nose: Day 1- Pot roast in the basement stink, but in a nice way. Dark blue fruit underneath. On day 2 the basement essence has dissipated, the wine smells ripe but not particularly fruity, very intriguing.
Mouth: Smooth tannins, very nice. Nicely rich & ripe without being stewed. Lively but not highly acidic. Interesting in that it’s ripe without being overly fruity.  The fruit is there, it is just so well integrated.

Gramercy Cellars L'Idiot du Village 2012 is 90% Mourvedre

Gramercy Cellars L’Idiot du Village 2011 is 90% Mourvedre

Gramercy Cellars L’idiot du Village 2011 ($42 direct from the winery at release)
Eye: Purple edge, dark center, but lighter compared to the Domaine Tempier
Nose: Dark blue fruit, with a bit of smoky ash and pepper on top.
Mouth: Nicely ripe, with plenty of fruit. Medium- tannins. More obviously fruity than the Domaine Tempier. Interesting, it seems a bit less rich and ripe but definitely displays stronger fruit.

mourvedre_tempier_gramercy 20150713 28


6 Responses to “Mourvedre – New World and Old”
  1. I have home a 2007 of the Domain Tampier. and I really love bandol wine. Provence is an amazing culinary and wine country to travel.

  2. You post reminds me of the IPOB tasting I attended earlier this year. So many California producers were talking about their “Burgundian” wines. As you so beautifully put it, I hope that means a respect for old world tradition because the terroirs are so different. While I certainly appreciate and respect old world tradition, I also think what makes the new world special is less rigidity in terms of rules. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. There have certainly been excesses and too many “big wines” But I appreciate the willingness to experiment and be more flexible. Well written enjoyable red Jeff!

    • Thanks Martin. Finding appropriate descriptors seems to be so difficult. I appreciate the intent, but no American winery can (or should) produce a Burgundian wine. I do love when they use the “new old” techniques to produce a similarly constructed wine, but with clear new world fruit.

  3. Completely agree with Martin’s comments. Beautiful post and both wines sound like winners.

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