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Senior editor James Laube, Wine Spectator's expert on the wines of California, joined the magazine in 1983.
James Laube

A Pink Wine That Holds Up Well

Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé 2007

James Laube
Posted: July 13, 2010

A friend of mine served a 2007 Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé the other night before dinner, with chips and guacamole. She was a bit hesitant at first, knowing rosés are usually at their best when freshest and aren’t typically meant to age. But the bottle (and apparently another one) was still in her cellar, and she opted to serve it.

Actually, it drank very well. Pale pink-copper in color, the wine was still fresh and lively, with strawberry, cherry and rhubarb flavors. There’s no point in aging this wine any longer. (You're likely to find the outstanding 2009 bottling in the market now.) But there’s no rush to drink it either. I gave it 87 points, non-blind.

Speaking of aging rosés, a few days ago, I received an interesting communiqué from Winebid.com’s Powell Yang about a prized 1996 rosé. “We had a bottle of 1996 Sine Qua Non E-Lips Rose that hammered at $1,300 this past Sunday night,” Yang wrote. “Including buyer’s premium and insurance, the total is $1,495.”

Given Sine Qua Non’s cult following, this bottle was no doubt acquired for its value as a rarity and collectible, not to mention Manfred Krankl’s art. Wonder if we’ll ever find out if the wine is still alive and worth drinking.

WineSpectator.com members: Get our quick list of Top Values among rosés from around the world.

Jason Carey
willow, ny usa —  July 13, 2010 2:32pm ET
Pathetic cult wine worship instead of drinking.. This to me is the worst aspect of the American greedy mindset.. a wasted bottle of wine for show purposes. The fact that any wine goes for 100 let alone 1000 makes me sick, but to let it go to waste past its drink date is even worse.. boo.
Tracy Hall
Sonoma, CA —  July 14, 2010 6:21pm ET
While it's true that most rose's are better the first year, I think the Domaine Tempier Bandol Rosé is an exception. I've never really enjoyed it within the first year. Don't get me wrong, it's okay, but it's better after a year or two. I always buy the current vintage and lay them down for at least two years. They drink so much better then.
James Laube
Napa, CA —  July 14, 2010 6:34pm ET
Glad to hear that perspective, Tracy. Don't recall an older Tempier rose, but I was impressed how well the wine showed. Learn something every day...
Jason T Pett
USA —  July 15, 2010 4:11pm ET
Tracy, I agree. I buy 7 every year. Drink one, and lay the rest - at which point I will open up 2 per year. Tempier continues to do a marvelous job on all of their cuvees. I am anxious to see what Mr. Marcus has to say about the 2007's and I am awaiting my 2008's to arrive in the next few months.
Troy Peterson
Burbank, CA —  July 15, 2010 4:42pm ET
I had a 2007 L'Aventure Cote a Cote Rose from Paso Robles recently and I thought it held up remarkably well. I believe it had a high Mourvedre percentage, so maybe thats the connection?

Speaking of Paso, any idea on when the 2008 Saxum reviews are coming out James?

Thanks!
Justin Bonner
Annapolis, MD —  June 9, 2011 10:03pm ET
The bottle of E-Lips was purchased as a gift for a friend. And trust me when I say that this bottle will be consumed one day. No bottle is meant to gather dust forever.

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