Domaine Tempier, Bandol, Cuvee Speciale La Migoua 1998

95 Points CellarTracker
The organically farmed grapes are sourced from scattered plots located at the highest parts of Tempier's vineyards at an 11-hectare site sitting at 300m above sea level, making it the lightest of the three Tempier single-vineyard cuvées. This cuvée is typically 55% Mourvèdre with the remainder rounded out with Cinsaut (25%), Grenache (15%) and Syrah (5%). Fermented spontaneously with indigenous yeasts, macerated for 3-4 weeks, aged in large oak foudres. Bottled unfined and unfiltered. 14% alcohol. Tasted in a Tempier 2003-1990 tasting in a horizontal flight of all three single-vineyard wines from 1998.

Aged and moderately translucent pomegranate red color with a rusty reddish-brown hue. Dry, savory and rather evolved - but not oxidative - nose with tertiary aromas of smoke, some roasted game, light pruney dark fruit tones, a little bit of blood, a subtly bretty hint of farmhouse funk and a touch of meat stew with a great deal of bayleaf. The wine is silky, savory and wonderfully textural on the palate with a medium-to-moderately full body and complex flavors of wizened dark fruits, meaty umami, some sour cherry bitterness, a little bit of earth, light bretty notes of barnyard and new leather, a hint of phenolic spice and a touch of beef jerky. The overall feel is quite structured, thanks to the relatively high acidity and still quite firm and moderately grippy tannins. The savory finish is remarkably long, textural and somewhat grippy with intense, layered flavors of bretty barnyard and leather, some roasted gamey notes, a little bit of dried figs and prunes, light bitter notes of earthy spices, a hint of smoke and a touch of meat consommé.

This wine seemed to continue the trend of La Migoua being the most evolved wine out of the three single-vineyard cuvées in every horizontal flight, but unlike the other two (2003, 2001), this 1998 didn't feel oxidized - just fully developed and quite tertiary. The other two La Migouas were somewhat disappointing, but this one definitely was not. It is getting a bit too tertiary to compete with the best wines of the evening (La Tourtine 2001, Cabassaou 1998), but offers still tons of aged Bandol pleasure. Even though La Migoua doesn't seem to be as long-lived as the other two Tempier cuvées, this vintage managed to prove that even La Migoua is capable of evolving wonderfully for +20 years. A terrific example of aged Bandol at its peak. Highly recommended. 8/27/2020

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