Bandol Cuvée Spéciale la Migoua 2001, Domaine Tempier
This has a fairly heroic nose of alcohol (it is 15%), but there is a lot of fragrant fruit there. It is also quite meaty/leathery with a big earthy character to it. It smells really quite complex. The palate is big but balanced. The high alcohol and beefy tannins levels are balanced by plenty of really quite lovely fruit and a powerful meatiness. It is very long, with earthy complexity on the finish. This tastes really lovely for such a heroic wine. It just goes to show that even though lower alcohol wines may be best, there are some good beasts available. Excellent Bandol that will age well for ten years or more quite easily.
I feel I should add that after forty-five minutes in the decanter the nose of this wine was very developed. Great aromas of dark fruit, herbs, grilled meat and earth were just bursting from my glass. Yummy yummy.
Generally speaking, I think that good Bandol is not only better value than Châteauneuf du Papes but it is also qualitatively better. Good Bandol ages really well, becoming a soft, fragrant wine that excites the mind as well as the nose. I can think of few Châteauneuf estates that have the great hit-rates possessed by Bandol producers such as Tempier and Pibarnon. You can only very rarely go wrong with these producers.