The previous 2012 vintage was awarded 96 points/Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2016 edition review of Provence and 93 points/Highly Recommended status in their September 2017 edition review of Provence Reds (see blue links below).
Pibarnon 2012 - Sept 2016 Decanter review
Pibarnon 2012 - Sept 2017 Decanter review
The vineyards overlook the valley, facing the sea, covering terraces upon terraces up to 300 metres altitude, on slopes forming a vast amphitheatre, sheltered from the mistral. The high altitude of the vineyards means cool nights and slow ripening of the grapes. The Château de Pibarnon vineyard is planted on very old and highly calcareous, Triassic ground. This limestone enhances the bouquet in the wine. It also allows the extraction of very fine and elegant tannins. Moreover it is this which causes the freshness and minerality, giving an exemplary type and flavour. Château de Pibarnon focuses on 12 main plots, all located at the summit of the estate including Bel Air, Jourdan, Pointes-Blanches and le Cirque.
2013 had a growing season dominated by rain and moderately cold temperatures. The cool, wet spring caused a slight delay in the ripening process. Far from worrying the winemakers at Chateau de Pibarnon, they were delighted with the conditions which gave them results that reminded them of the great years of the 1980s. Summer was dry and warm throughout the day and cold at night. This was perfect and allowed for a slow maturation. Harvest was delayed by approximately 15 days which allowed them to harvest the grapes when they were fully ripe.
2013 is a structured, well-built vintage. It is full bodied but the flavours then develop to give a sense of smoothness, sweetness and fruity tannins on the palate. The wine's character shows the skill of the winemakers in producing a wine with good levels of maturity as well as balanced tannins and minerality.