JWL Issue #059: Brief Notes on Domaine Tempier

July 9, 2019

The list of London wine bars seems to ever be growing. This week’s Taste features a roundup of my wines they had available by the glass (BTG in trade slang) at Quality Wines. This is the bar spinout of Quality Chop House. 

Quality Chop used to be a working mens’ eating house where for sixpence you could get a chop and a pint of ale. When they reopened in the early 2010s, they kept the concept, turning it into a chop and a glass of wine for £13. 

Today, Quality Chop owns a two room dining room, the butcher next door and Quality Wines, all adjacent to each other on Farringdon Road. Quality Wines also do one of the best sausage rolls I’ve ever had as well. 

In wine news, £400,000 worth of wine was stolen from a restaurant in Paris last week. While Maison Rostang had a 50,000 bottle cellar, the thieves knew what they were doing. Over half of the 150 bottles taken were historic vintages of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

Taste

Foradori Lezer was served chilled and the perfect thirst quencher (£25 from Pull the Cork, £8/glass at Quality Wines in Farringdon). One friend called it “Ribena squash - in a really good way.” This was endlessly smashable. 

Anatolikos Malagouzia Wild (£25.10 from Ormos, or £8.50/glass at Quality Wines in Farringdon) has notes of caramel, aromatics with a background herbal edge. Really lovely aperitif white. 

When I saw the Tempier red available by the glass at Quality Wines in Farringdon, I knew I had to have it. This is absolutely everything southern French wine should be: deep blackcurrants, lashings of thyme and herb, showing some bottle aged and some slight sherry notes tied in with the vanilla. It was £13 BTG at Quality Wines, which is incredible value when you consider it’s around £40 if you can find a bottle of it in a shop.

Learn

Domaine Tempier is one of those renowned old chateaux, from Provence. I first discovered Tempier thanks to Kermit Lynch’s book Adventures from the Wine Trade, which if you’ve not read it is one of the all time classic wine books. 

In 1936, Lucie Tempier married Lucien Peyraud and the pair were gifted the family wine estate along with a vintage 19th century bottle of the estate red. That bottle, which was there aha moment in wine, was made from mourvèdre –a grape which had largely been replaced by that point. 

Inspired the pair replanted it, and lobbied for the Bandol AOC to be created, driven by terroirs, mourvèdre and ageable Provencal reds.

Today, Tempier make a table white, rosé and red, along with three special reds which all have half a century’s ageing potential. Remember the name Tempier, and if ever someone offers you a glass snap it up and savour it.

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