Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rouge 2005
Mourvedre from Provence, France
A bouquet of fresh lavender, warmed in the sun; cranberries lightly poached in red wine. These stunning aromatics combine with what has to be the most lively, peppery nose we've ever experienced from Pibarnon's rouge; it is simply electric. Lavender again takes the lead on the palate, with waves of sweet southern French plums, pink peppercorns and soy-soaked seared beef. Rich and sweet, a perfect harmony of spice and fruit. Tannins are silky and fine, yet still provide a solid backbone we've come to worship in noble Bandol. A blend of 90% Mourvèdre, 10% Grenache; enjoy over the next 10-20 years.
Wine Spectator - "An intense and focused red, with concentrated mineral, plum and dark cherry that are flanked by tobacco box notes. Lithe yet powerful, with a long, elegant and finely chiseled finish of slate and white pepper. Drink now through 2015."
Chateau de Pibarnon Winery
Much of the magic at Pibarnon, as with any great wine, comes from the land. The highest point in the Bandol appellation, Pibarnon's vineyards curve and cut into each stony, chalk-rich hillside, creating a series of terraces (or "restanques") that face southeast. The minerality from this chalky terroir finds its way into the wine's perfume as notes of white pepper and flinty smoke.
Henri de Saint-Victor, descended from a prominent Paris family, discovered the potential of the Pibarnon site and planted it to Mourvèdre, Syrah, and Grenache. His son, Eric, is now taking this historic estate to a new level. Yields are being driven ever lower, and a fully modernized cellar is finally complete. View all Chateau de Pibarnon Wines
About ProvenceView a map of Provence wineries Grenache and Cinsault. A move is being made to bring in more varieties, like Syrah, to increase the quality of the wines.
Notable FactsThe most important appellation is Côtes de Provence, where about 80% of the production is the typical style rose. Unfortunately, the easy-drinking aspect does not translate to the price – some of these wines are a bit pricey for drink-today wines. Some producers are making a shift to higher quality while others are selling their wines at a bargain. Either way, Côtes de Provence rose is a delicious match with any provence-style garlic-y cuisine. Other appellations to note include Bandol, Bellet, Les Baux-de-Provence, Cassis and Côteaux d'Aix-en-Provence. Though Côtes de Provence rules in amount of wine produced, the quality appellation to know is Bandol. Mostly red and mostly Mourvedre, the wines of Bandol are able to age a few years, like many a Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but also enjoyed in their youth.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
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