Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol Rouge (375ML half-bottle) 2012
Blend: 90 % Mourvedre, 10% Grenache
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The source of the refinement and elegance of Chateau de Pibarnon's wines lies in the estate's captivating vineyards, which overlook the Mediterranean Sea in the appellation of Bandol, in Provence.
A thick-skinned black grape, Mourvèdre has found its favourite soils in the sunny Bandol appellation. Some 3,000 hours of sunshine a year perfectly suit this slow-ripening grape. Rarely found in other cooler French vineyards, Mourvèdre brings harmony, elegance and an amazing ageing capacity to the red and rosé wines of sunny Bandol.
The Bandol region was essentially undiscovered when Catherine and Henri de Saint Victor purchased Pibarnon in the late 1970s. Recognizing the region’s potential, this visionary couple worked tirelessly for some 30 years, landscaping and crafting ever better wines.
By the 1990s, Pibarnon was making the region’s top red and rosé wines, a status today maintained under their son, Eric de Saint Victor, today the estate's winemaker.
More than just a European vacation hotspot and rosé capital of the world, Provence is a southeastern France, coastal appellation 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 this 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 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, of 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.
Full of ripe fruit, and robust, earthy goodness, Mourvèdre is actually of Spanish provenance, where it still goes by the name Monastrell or Mataro. It is better associated however, with the Red Blends of the Rhône, namely Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Mourvèdre shines on its own in Bandol and is popular both as a single varietal wine in blends in the New World regions of Australia, California and Washington. Somm Secret—While Mourvèdre has been in California for many years, it didn’t gain momentum until the 1980s when a group of California winemakers inspired by the wines of the Rhône Valley finally began to renew a focus on it.