TN Château Vannières, Bandol rouge 2004

Discussion in 'UK Wine Forum' started by Stephen Pickles, Mar 25, 2020 at 1:23 PM.

  1. Wild rabbit stew prompted me to open this.

    Château Vannières Bandol rouge 2004
    Old vines, 95% mourvèdre 5% grenache
    Dark and still opaque, some lightening at the rim. Initially high toned after initial decant of sediment. it opens to the classic bandol dark, bramble fruit, game meat and an pronunced thyme herb note.
    Medium bodied, lithe plenty of life and tannin still in this, It's a lovely match with the food with a fine savoury finish.

    Its a lovely property, a little under the radar, very old school style. Worth a visit, the château is a slightly incongruous Victorian scottish baronial style castle just below Cadiere D'Azur. They used to make a fantastic fortified grenache, which was a lovely after dinner drink , with the added bonus it dyed everyone's lips, tongue and teeth dark purple.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020 at 3:37 PM
  2. I have one bottle of the 06 left - it is lovely.
    Stephen Pickles likes this.
  3. I was underwhelmed by the 1999 I must admit.
  4. I used to be able to source it in San Francisco for not much money and found it to be a truly outstanding value. Alas, the store where I would purchase it closed some years ago and I have not seen the wine elsewhere since.
  5. Bandol other than Tempier has always looked like an interesting area! (love Tempier but think there must be other good wines)
    Stephen Pickles likes this.
  6. Pibarnon, Vannieres, Gros Nore, Lafron Veyrolles and Terrebrune are good. There are others at a lesser level too.
  7. Interesting Richard, what age were you drinking it? They probably need 20 years? Not sure if I have had the 99, I probably have.
  8. Guy, I do feel Tempier is pushing their pricing, but that may just me being grumpy about being able to buy it freely 20 years ago. To add to Colin's list I would add Pradeaux, Ray Jane, Bunan, JP Gaussen, St Anne, & Terrebrune in the "old school " camp. New school I rate Tour de Bon, Bastide Blanche, & La Suffrene. I loved the Laidiere wines - their red longue garde was superb, and they made a great white, but around 2016 Tempier bought the vineyard and the 2015 is the last vintage.
    It is an excellent area to visit.
    Ian Black likes this.
  9. Yes, I overlooked Pradeaux, Steve.

    The "new school" examples you mention all in my view provide exceedingly good value for money.
    Stephen Pickles likes this.
  10. Drunk at about 12-13 years old, so perhaps too young Stephen. I noted ‘a disconcerting bourbon barrel’ note on the finish, but otherwise decent wine. Perhaps I drank the 3 bottles I had too young.
    Stephen Pickles likes this.
  11. I think a lot of Bandol represents QPR. I also forgot to mention Domaine de la Begude, new school, rather good, for some reason I have only tried it in the last few years. Too much wine, not enough time.
  12. The pricing has gone up, but Tempier was always priced above most other Southern French wines. And the wine is now widely available in Paris, which didn't used to be the case. For the quality, it's still an outstanding value, even at the higher prices. I have quite a bit of Tempier in my cellar (but not enough), and every time I open a bottle, I marvel and the greatness and consistency of the wine -- the cuvée classique as well as the single vineyards.
    Stephen Pickles likes this.
  13. A real paucity of Bandols in my town, but a few in Calgary to the south, even a Tardieu-Laurent.

    Can anybody recommend any mourvedre wines from southern France that might be comparable to a Bandol?
  14. Anyone else remember several excellent Bandol off lines hosted in Overton by David Thomas at his shop, The Cellar Door? Must be c. 15yrs ago? Bandol and Pies was the theme each time, as there was a pie-maker in the village! Anyway, lots of the non-Tempier producers named above appeared at those events, and I was really impressed that there was life beyond Tempier in Bandol, though they remain the most widely available.

    Since then it seemed to me that something changed from the early 2000s onward with Tempier in particular, and that their ABVs went up a notch, to the great detriment of the wines. I stopped buying after the 2002 vintage though maybe this was a mistake? How are early 2000s drinking now?
    Stephen Pickles and Jim Agar like this.
  15. I had quite forgotten these and finally unearthed my notes from October 2006 in which, apart from an excellent Trevallon flight, the Bandol stars were Terrebrune 88 and JP Gaussen LG 2001. Quite a star event!

    I still have one bottle of my case of Vannieres 98. It probably needs finishing now, but the rest have developed beautifully ...
    Andy Leslie likes this.
  16. Indeed Andy. I stopped buying Tempier wines once they had crossed over into the higher alcohol zone. I remember Max Oldfield bringing a magnum of La Tourtine 1989 to a WIMPS lunch a few years ago - it was just 13% alcohol and a truly outstanding wine. The 14.5/15.0% wines just don't have the elegance of the previous generation, and like the big CdPs, they are just too tiring to drink beyond the first glass - at least for me. They fall into my 'one glass wines' category. The last vintage I bought was 2006 I think.
    Jim Agar likes this.
  17. 2001 for me, after being a regular buyer from about 1989 up to then.
  18. The wine making did change when Daniel Ravier took over (in 2000), I would call it cleaner & more modern, but I wonder if the real issue is that what made Tempier a great location in the 20th century has become an issue in the 21st with global warming? Their vines are in very favourable locations, maybe too favourable now? I still buy the wines, but I buy a lot of Bandol in general. I also forgot (not sure how) to mention Pibarnon - another old school producer, who maybe have vines on the highest sites in Bandol? They seem to be producing beautiful wines still.
    Richard Zambuni likes this.
  19. I sadly think that Bandol may be going the way of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. What used to be sun-kissed wines are now suffering from third degree sunburn.
    Stephen Pickles likes this.
  20. Jonathan Hesford, of this parish, makes Domaine Treloar wines, some of which are mourvèdre dominant.
    Mahmoud Ali likes this.
  21. Yes, Domaine Treloar's Motus cuvee is 80% mourvedre and is delicious.
    Richard Zambuni likes this.
  22. Global warming is undoubtedly in some part responsible for the increase in alcohol at Tempier, but the reason Daniel Ravier gave me was that in the old days, once the harvest began, they went straight through without stopping; now they harvest each parcel at peak maturity. So there are vintages such as 2012 that are too high for my preferences, but others that are just magnificent, such as 2011 and 2016.
  23. What are the alcohol levels for 2011 and 2016 Claude?
  24. Sorry, don't have them at hand, Richard.
  25. Interesting about the later picking policy Claude. It seems strange, but obviously hasn't affected the popularity. I drank an 01 Migoua (15%) a few weeks ago. It had a touch of inkyness and lack of acidity that makes me doubt it will make old bones. 01 was a mad vintage, but others made more balance wines.
    I have just had a cellar rummage, I know I have some 2016 Tempier in there somewhere, but cant find it to check the alcohol level :) .

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