Chateau de Pibarnon - Bandol - red - 2018 - 750 ml

Chateau de Pibarnon - Bandol - red - 2018 - 750 ml

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Organic. This is Pibarnon's top wine, and one of the great 'mountain Bandols'. It's a blend of 90% Mourvèdre and 10% Grenache drawn from the Estate's high-altitude restanques. The altitude, the influence of the sea and the limestone/clay soils all bring a freshness and purity that is rare among Mediterranean reds.

This cuvée is based only on the fruit of the oldest vines and finest parcels of Chateau de Pibarnon. Pibarnon's rouge has always been a wine of finesse, and in recent years the style has been evolving further, becoming ever more refined. Under the young chef de culture Éric Schladenhaufen, the organic and biodynamic vineyard management has progressed, while in the cellar, cellarmaster Marie Laroze avoids winemaking artefact, working only with wild yeasts, large-format oak, low sulphur and micro-batching based on terroir.


“Having understood perfectly the soul of this exceptional terroir, Henri de Saint-Victor completely remade Chateau de Pibarnon and in doing so created a grand classic in Bandol, with a profundity and balance without equal in Provence….”
Bettane and Desseauve, Classification of the Best Wines of France, 2003

“The rose is unfailingly one of the most savory in Provence. The red is robust when young but develops a range of subtle, typically Mediterranean aromas, together with very fine tannins that places it amongst the greatest of all the French wines.”
Bettane and Desseauve’s Guide to the Greatest Wine of France 2011


The vineyards of Chateau de Pibarnon create a natural amphitheatre, sitting atop La Colline du Télégraphe at a height of 300m, staring directly out at the sparkling Mediterranean bay of La Ciotat. This is one of the few terroirs that can ripen and sculpt the surly Mourvèdre into the kind of fine, supple and fragrant wine that Pibarnon is famous for. While the photograph doesn’t really do the natural beauty of the Pibarnon vineyard justice, there is plenty of beauty to be found in the glass of any of the wines below. Open a bottle and you are as good as in Provence. These wines simply couldn’t come from anywhere else.

We’re not entirely sure who coined the phrase ‘The Petrus of Bandol’, but it does give you an idea of the high reputation this Estate holds amongst its peers. The brutish, muscular and tannic norm of many Bandols gives way here to a perfumed, refined and altogether more elegant manifestation. In this storied region, Pibarnon rouge has something of a cult following and counts the leading French wine critics amongst its passionate admirers. It’s not easy to pinpoint exactly what makes this particular Bandol, made by Eric de Saint Victor, so distinctive. There are many factors. There’s the lofty elevation of the Pibarnon vineyard, which allows for a longer, slow ripening period, and there is the unique, ancient fossil-rich limestone, clay and blue marl soils that bring a seamless web of tannins into play. The high level of Mourvèdre is another major difference, with most Bandol reds having much more Grenache in the blends. Whatever the reasons, this is a ravishing, unique wine and should be counted among the very best in Southern France.