2012 Château de Pibarnon Bandol

SKU #1266543 96 points Decanter

 Mourvedre purity from a maritime-limestone vineyard shows Bandol's power. Savoury aromas of garrigue with saline mineral notes followed by delicate silky tannins, powerful ripe black fruit and fine acidity. (EG)  (9/2016)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 While most 2012s from the region are slightly superficial and charming, Pibarnon’s 2012 Bandol Rouge has real depth and density, as well as fabulous notes of garrigue, toasted spices, dried Provencal herbs, and sweet red and black fruits. It has present tannin, yet they’re polished and nicely integrated into the wine, and while this beauty will have 15 years of more of overall longevity, it’s already hard to resist today. The blend of the 2012 is 92% Mourvèdre and 8% Grenache, all of which saw an extended maceration and 18-20 months in larger foudres. This is a fabulous Bandol that readers should seek out! Run by Eric de Saint Victor, who is aided by assistant winemaker Marie Laroze, Chateau de Pibarnon fashions some of the top wines from this incredible appellation. Any reader wanting to taste the best expression of Bandol should get on this estate’s bandwagon, as the price has yet to catch up to the quality. (JD)  (6/2016)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Features a large core of macerated plum, blueberry and blackberry fruit, lined with subtle savory, mint and tobacco notes. Anise shading shows on the finish. Needs a little time to unfurl. (JM)  (11/2015)

K&L Notes

Chateau de Pibarnon is an extraordinary terroir seated some 300 meters above the village of Cadière d'Azur in a natural amphitheater. The soil is high in calcair (limestone) and loaded with microfossils making it distinctively unique from its neighbors. The magic of this site provides a balance of warmth in the day and cooling nights. Mourvedre, the primary grape of the region, is said to "need its feet in the water and its head in the sun." Just a few hundred meters from the Mediterranean and with a sunny exposition, Pibarnon's vineyards couldn't be better situated. In 2000, Eric de Saint-Victor took over the running of the estate after spending a decade under the watchful eye of his father. Since then, the winery has become one of the benchmarks from Bandol alongside other greats like Tempier and Terrebrune. The 2012 vintage is 90% Mourvedre and 10% Grenache. A tricky vintage for most with a damaging frost, Pibarnon was spared that difficutly due in part to the elevation of the vineyards and their position in the region. This 2012 is supple wine, showing more polished tannins than its slightly bigger brother, 2011. A more accessible wine now, this also has potential for short term cellaring.

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Price: $39.99

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By: Daniel Maas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/2/2016 | Send Email
I love golf! It all started at the age of five, when my grandfather first walked me out of the house and up to the thirteenth tee of his course. From that moment, I was hooked. Why bring this up? Because it was just this past weekend that I was sitting on my sofa with a bottle of wine and thrilling coverage of the European tour. Alexander Levy steps up to the 4th Green, just as I pull the cork from this 2012 Pibarnon, a superb expression of Mourvedre (with a bit of Grenache) which happens to hail from Levy's hometown of BANDOL! Full bodied and loaded with deep blackberry, fig, cedar, and just the right amount of earthiness, this wine is MAGICAL! So powerful, it is, that upon finishing the bottle, I had luckily forgotten all about how badly I shanked it that morning on the Par-5 ninth! And that, dear readers, is saying something!

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/2/2016 | Send Email
My favorite way to think of Bandol begins with a fur rug, soft under your feet with that slight animale/leather quality. Now add fruit, but more of that fresh blackberry fruit with tiny little pips that get stuck in your teeth. Now the forest part. But a chaparral forest, sun-baked with all the brushy herb scents floating through the air as you rustle through the branches. Finally, equate all of that into liquid form with its fur, fruit and forest and we arrive at the Pibarnon. A true wine of place, the 2012 captures the essence of the region and becomes the penultimate example of all things that great Bandol can be. Definitely sultry now, but bottles in the cellar will reward patient drinkers for years to come.

Additional Information:



- Also called Monastrell and Mataro, Mourvèdre is most famous for the ruby-hued wines of Provence's Bandol region, known for their spicy, gamey, blackberry character, though the grape is grown throughout Provence and the Southern Rhône. Thought to have originated in Spain, it is second only to Grenache in vine acres, with the best examples found in Rioja, Alicante and Penedès.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of France.


- Provence encompasses the southeastern portion of France that borders the Mediterranean. The largest appellation in the region is the Cotes de Provence that spans 49,600 acres of land in and around Marseilles. Thirteen different varietals are grown in this appellation with the most important grapes being Carignan, Cinsault, Grenache, and Mouvedre. While much of the production is dry rose, there are many more serious wines being made from the area. Some of the most important smaller appellations within Provence include Bandol, Coteaux d'Aix-en-Provence, and Coteaux Varois.