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Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rouge (375ML half-bottle) 2012

  • RP93
  • W&S91
  • WS91
375ML / 0% ABV
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  • RP93
  • JS91
  • WS91
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  • WE93
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375ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Mourvedre is a very fragrant grape, producing wines of great depth, a rich colour and enormous complexity. It ripens late and performs best in the warm Mediterranean climate of Bandol. At Pibarnon, to ensure perfect maturity, the grapes are often picked 10 days later than is customary in Bandol. The upshot is a wine that compares favorably with great names from the more prestigious vineyards in France. When young, Pibarnon Rouge displays a massive floral bouquet with black cherries and spices. The firm acidity of the Mourvedre gives good definition and a solid foundation for long term development. With time the wine mellows, exhibiting a harmonious elegance and wonderful heady flavors of truffles, wet leaves and cinnamon.

Blend: 90 % Mourvedre, 10% Grenache

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
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!
W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
Grown at nearly 1,000 feet, Pibarnon’s 2012 has a cool tang to the fruit, a cherry-pit flavor that rings out through its darker, more leathery aspects. Intensely spicy, it’s a vibrant Bandol with the structure to age another five years or take on a leg of lamb.
WS 91
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. Best from 2016 through 2022.
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Chateau de Pibarnon

Chateau de Pibarnon

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Chateau de Pibarnon, France
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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.

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Provence

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More than just a European vacation hotspot and the rosé capital of the world, Provence is a coastal, southeastern French appellation increasingly producing interesting wines of all colors. The warm, breezy Mediterranean climate is ideal for grape growing and the diverse terrain and soil types allow for a variety of wine styles within the region. Adjacent to the Rhône Valley, Provence shares some characteristics with its northwestern neighbor—namely, the fierce Mistral wind and the plentiful wild herbs (such as rosemary, lavender, juniper and thyme) often referred to as ‘garrigue.’ The largest appellation here is Côtes de Provence, followed by Coteaux d’Aix-en-Provence.

Provence is internationally acclaimed for its dry, refreshing, pale-hued rosé wines, which make up the vast majority of the region’s production. These are typically blends, often dominated by Mourvèdre and supplemented by Grenache, Cinsault, Tibouren, and other varieties.

A small amount of full-bodied, herbal white wine is made here—particularly from the Cassis appellation, from Clairette and Marsanne. Other white varieties used throughout Provence include Roussane, Sémillon, Vermentino (known locally as Rolle) and Ugni blanc.

Perhaps the most interesting wines of the region, however, are the red wines of Bandol. Predominantly Mourvèdre, these are powerful, structured, and ageworthy wines with lush berry fruit and savory characteristics of earth and spice.

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Mourvedre

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Full of color, ripe fruit, plenty of texture and earthy goodness, Mourvèdre is an important grape in many key regions in the south of France, as well as in Spain and the New World. Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance (there known as Monastrell or Mataro) and is the key variety in Alicante, Jumilla and Yecla. It truly thrives, however, in Provence’s Bandol region, where it shines on its own as a single varietal red and in Southern Rhône where it palys a major part in blends . It is also of great importance in the Southern Rhône alongside Grenache and Syrah—and in California and Australia, as a single varietal wine or in Rhône blends.

In the Glass

At their finest, Mourvèdre wines are robust and full of brambly red and black fruit, and aromas and flavors of herbs, leather, earth, dark chocolate and licorice. Well-aged examples can show an impressive degree of elegance and an attractive perfume. In blends with Grenache and Syrah, Mourvèdre provides fleshy texture, tannic structure and deep color.

Perfect Pairings

This earthy Mediterranean variety loves rustic food—think cassoulet, wild boar ragu or smoky ribs. Mourvèdre’s tannins are bold but not bitter, lending both weight and texture.

Sommelier Secret

Mourvèdre used to have significant plantings in California, but the vine lost popularity during the 20th century in favor of other varieties. However, in the 1980s, a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley have been working to bring the variety back into the spotlight. Plantings have since increased and Rhône blends are now a highly-regarded specialty of the Central Coast.

NBIPIBRGE37512_2012 Item# 149281