Moving to the classic cuvee and even more impressive (it was one of the top wines I was able to taste for this report), the 2010 Bandol, which is over 90% Mourvedre, sees partial destemming and aging in oak casks, offers both gorgeous aromatic complexity and superb richness and depth on the palate. Giving up notions of pepper, Provencal herbs, underbrush and leather, with a solid core of dark fruit, this medium to full-bodied, pure, layered and beautifully balanced effort needs another 2-3 years of bottle age, and will easily keep for a decade or more past that. (JD)
The summer of 2010 was cooler than that of 2011, and as a result, the wines are the product of a long, classic growing season and this seems likely to be one of the greatest recent vintages at Château de Pibarnon. The bouquet is just starting to stir a bit at age five, offering up a superb blend of cassis, grilled meats, French roast, a fine base of soil, Mediterranean herb tones and a touch of graphite. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and seamlessly balanced, with a fine core, ripe, suave tannins and excellent focus and grip on the very long and still quite youthful finish. The inherent polish given to the tannins from Pibarnon’s unique terroir really shows to fine effect in this superb 2010! 93+
Eric de Saint-Victor runs the estate his parents founded in 1975, working on 123 acres on the southern slopes of the Massif de la Sainte-Baume. His 2010 is a brooding wine, taking days to reveal its pleasures, the garrigue scents and cool, limestone minerality adding dimension to mourvèdre’s black tones. Give it a decade in the cellar, then pour with oxtail or another rich, beefy braise.
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