2012 Château de Pibarnon Bandol
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)
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)
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)
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.