Domaine Tempier, the flagship estate in France's Bandol appellation, has purchased Domaine de la Laidière, a nearby estate located in the town of Évenos, from the Estienne family. The purchase, completed in late June, includes both vineyards and inventory. La Laidière's vineyards, also in Bandol, will be kept separate from Tempier's production for now, according to Daniel Ravier, Tempier's winemaker. The purchase price was not disclosed.
"La Laidière was considered the reference for rosé and white wine when I started to work in Bandol in the late '80s," Ravier told Wine Spectator. The move will help with the increasing demand for rosé production. The small Bandol AOC is known for long-lived reds, produced primarily from the Mourvèdre grape. But in recent years many domaines have shifted focus toward rosé, which now accounts for the majority of Bandol production.
The vagaries of climate change also played a role, Ravier said. "The vineyards are located on the other side of the hill of Le Beausset-Vieux [home to Tempier's La Migoua vineyard] facing east-southeast. The terroir is fresher and cooler and it seems to have more reserves of water in the soil. The soils are limestone and clay, similar to La Migoua, but overall more 'white soils' than the average 'red' at Tempier, [meaning more limestone than clay]. For me, I see a great potential, especially with global warming."
Previous vintages of wines from the estate have earned outstanding ratings. The 50 acres of vines are planted with red grapes Mourvèdre, Grenache and Cinsault, along with white grapes Clairette de Bellegarde and Ugni Blanc. The purchase comes two years after Ravier began working with the Estienne family, directing the viticulture at Laidière.