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Bandol rosé, Château Pibarnon (magnum) - 2021

In the world of great French rosés, Bandol can easily claim the title of reference appellation. The terroir is no stranger to this, nor is the proportion of mourvèdre (50%). Château Pibarnon has always excelled in this colour, with a wine that is lightly tinted but fragrant, with a full, expressive mouthfeel, both fat and light, velvety and very fine. Superb!
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Technique

Viticulture

The vineyard overlooks the sea, hanging from terraces to terraces, up to 300 m in altitude, on these slopes forming a vast cirque. It is planted on very old Triassic soil, characterised by a high level of limestone. This particular situation, completed by an audacious blend of grape varieties, gives this rosé its personality and complexity.

Oenology

Manual harvest, by a small team of regulars in 20kg boxes. Surface area of 20 ha on the hillsides. The Cinsault is pressed directly. It brings fatness and fruit. The Mourvèdre comes from direct bleeding (free-run juice) and pressing. It gives a beautiful structure, freshness and complexity. The two grape varieties are blended before fermentation. Long fermentation (25/30 days), in stainless steel tanks. Temperature controlled, at 20°C on average. Aged in vats for 6 months to preserve the freshness of the aromas.

Suggestions for accompaniment

Niçoise salad - Seafood salads - Grilled fish - Shellfish a la plancha.

Domain
At the age of 50, Eric de Saint-Victor's parents, Henri and Catherine, fell in love with Pibarnon, at the time a small Bandolais estate of 3.5 hectares run by a man from the Italian Piedmont. We are in 1978 and the work that awaits the couple is not small. They had to remodel the vineyard, extend it, consolidate the terraces and perpetuate the cultivation of Mourvèdre plants anchored in the hard limestone. Let's remember that at that time, the Provence of wine was a bit like the Far West. Nearly 40 years later, the estate covers almost 50 hectares, half of which are vineyards, divided into multiple restanques (terraces) which form an aesthetic circus testifying to a beautiful stubbornness of civilisation. They cover the hillside on all sides, the furthest being one or two kilometres away. In the early 1990s, Eric de Saint-Victor joined his parents on the property, refining the tight but free style they had developed. After having somewhat abandoned the whole crop during the 2000s, he has been working more with the "rafle" in recent vintages, discussions with great Burgundian winemakers having no doubt contributed to this. The maturing process is still traditional, mainly in large oak tuns.
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