EPISODES #32 & 33
Director Mike Mitchell & Mourvedre
2012 Chateau de Pibarnon Bandol ($40)
While most 2012s from the region are slightly superficial and charming, Pibarnon’s 2012 Bandol Rouge has real depth and density, as well as fabulous notes of garrigue, toasted spices, dried Provencal herbs, and sweet red and black fruits. It has present tannin, yet they’re polished and nicely integrated into the wine, and while this beauty will have 15 years of more of overall longevity, it’s already hard to resist today. The blend of the 2012 is 92% Mourvèdre and 8% Grenache, all of which saw an extended maceration and 18-20 months in larger foudres. This is a fabulous Bandol that readers should seek out! Run by Eric de Saint Victor, who is aided by assistant winemaker Marie Laroze, Chateau de Pibarnon fashions some of the top wines from this incredible appellation. Any reader wanting to taste the best expression of Bandol should get on this estate’s bandwagon, as the price has yet to catch up to the quality.
Lightly herbal, mildly spicy aromas are fresh yet scratchy. This Monastrell is full and balanced, with a sensation of resiny oak to the palate feel. Pointed plum and raspberry flavors are oaky, spicy and drying on the finish.
2014 Juan Gil Monastrell Jumilla ($15)
2014 Seam Mourvedre Contra Costa ($30)
A portion of the vineyard is planted to the Mission grape, and the entire vineyard has sporadic Rosa Peru plants mixed in. The Rosa Peru grapes are giant pink things but they have almost no water or flavor so don’t really effect things either way. This vineyard produces delicious ripe fruit flavors with just enough natural acidity to balance the wine out. Alcohol 14.1%.