Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol '15
Château de Pibarnon sets the standard for greatness not only in Bandol but also for wines the world over. Like fine Barolo, Pibarnon Bandol is an eternal wine, growing ever more elegant and supple with time; and like grand cru Burgundy, the depth and complexity of Pibarnon Bandol is a singular, captivating experience.
With its perch at the highest point in the appellation, its impeccable terroir and unforgettable amphitheatre of vines, Pibarnon unquestionably crafts the finest Mourvèdre-based wines in Bandol. This breathtaking yet rugged region is exceptionally suited to showcasing the power and beauty of this southern red grape.
Bandol was no more than a backwater when Catherine and Henri de Saint Victor purchased Pibarnon in the late 1970s. Recognizing the region’s potential, however, the visionary couple worked tirelessly for some 30 years, landscaping and crafting ever better wines. By the 1990s, Pibarnon was making the region’s top reds, a status today maintained under their son, Eric de Saint Victor. Henri passed away in 2013.
FARMING & WINEMAKING
Pibarnon sits at the highest point in the Bandol appellation (more than 900 feet above sea level) and occupies its own micro-climate. The influence of the Mediterranean to the south as well as the estate’s altitude keeps the southern temperatures moderate, allowing Mourvèdre the long growing season it requires to reach optimal ripeness.
The estate’s unique and rare soils, called Trias, are mineral-rich and retain water even in the driest years; sub-soils are a blue clay (found also at Château d’Yquem and Petrus) which contribute to the wines’ refined aromas and smooth texture.
The estate vineyards grow in a natural amphitheater, which not only protects vines from strong winds but also provides a dramatic backdrop for one of Bandol’s most legendary estates.
Vines are cared for according to organic principles, yet the estate is not officially certified. Harvest is always by hand, considering the steep, terraced terrain. Wines are fermented on indigenous yeasts and aged exclusively in a combination of new and older French oak casks and barrels.