We didnt plan to visit the Chateau de Pibarnon . We just wanted to see the terraced vineyards that we had a glimpse of at the Maison des Vins de Bandol on a pic shot by Pascal Perier .
So we took the winding and narrow roads accross the Bandol and La Cadiere hills . Very scenic , slow drive as 2 vehicules hardly pass . Steep terrain . This is a difficult road , partly poorly paved road , partly dirt road and we did it , the road stopped right at Pibarnon, with the semi-circular vineyards amphitheater visible on the next hill on the right .
Once there we looked at the terraced vineyards in a cooling breeze that made this hot august day very bearable . I wondered if this breeze from the mediterranean sea has a role in the special Bandol wines .
After resting a while looking at the view , we decided that after such a painful journey we deserved a visit and announced ourselves ...
A young man named Clement Bellande opened the door and made a presentation of the Chateau and its wines . He is working presently at Pibarnon but has already a good wine experience , plus wine related studies , and plans one day to make wine himself in the Cotes du Ventoux region . Remember his name .
The Domaine was created in 1974 . The Chateau itself is exposed southward . The terraced vineyards on an amphitheater on the other side of the valley are mostly northward . On clay-limestone soil . Brings a slow maturation . Harvest can begin mid-october with such an orientation .
The Chateau has about 50 hectares . 27 years ago it was only about 3 hectares . The "amphitheater" holds about 10 to 12 hectares .
This is the Pibarnon amphitheater ; sea far away...
Our host now proposes to taste wines :
__1__Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol rose 2002 . 50% Cinsault 50% Mourvedre . Direct pressing . Low temp fermentation for the Cinsault . For the Mourvedre : 3 hours pellicular maceration . Very spicy . 16 Euro .
__2__Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol red 2001 . 90% Mourvedre 10% Grenache noir . 14° . 24 Euro . Same we tasted at the Bandol Maison des Vins. Typical of long laying down Bandol wines .Tight tannins . Exceptional year .
__3__Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol red 2000 . Very different millesime . This year was a rainy year . The wine shows already a nice evolution .
__4__Last we taste a "Marc de Bandol" 1988 . This is an "AOC eau de vie de Provence" , with 45° in alcohol . 3 Domaines in the Bandol area share a legal right to distillate , called here "droit de bouilleur de cru"
What is important when you have an alambic and the distillation rights to go with it , is that you know what you put in there : Here , the Pibarnon Mourvedre . Very long mouth . Aromatic . Stays about 12 years in casks (new 1/2 Muids) . 45 Euro .