Upon tasting a bottle of Château de Pibarnon one day in the 1970's in a Bandol restaurant, Count Henri de Saint-Victor came to the realisation that his current occupation no longer held any meaning for him and that he just had to throw himself whole-heartedly into a high-risk agricultural venture. He decided to buy Château de Pibarnon.
From an initial modest 5 hectares, the vineyard has now grown to 48 hectares, arranged in a vast terraced south-westerly amphitheatre, 300 metres above sea level (making it the highest property in the appellation).
The Pibarnon hill is in fact an isolated outcrop of stony Triassic chalky clay, sandstone and green mare. The steepness of the slope ensures excellent drainage, while the soil type maintains an adequate level of moisture under the surface, encouraging the vines' roots to reach deep into the mineral rich rock - grapes are harvested late, having reached absolute ripeness.
Château de Pibarnon's wines have numerous medals: the reds won golds for five years in a row at the Concours de Paris, until they were no longer submitted, and regularly win golds at the International Wine Challenge. Robert Parker eulogises the wines and rates the domaine in his 'excellent producer' category, while his French counterpart, Michel Bettare, places the Château in pole position for the south and south-east of France.
Vines are from terraced vineyards, 10-12ha cover an "amphitheater" land formation, the remaining 40ha of Château land on the other side of the valley and are mostly northward.
The maceration takes place in small stainless steel tanks only. One manual pigeage per day, for the extraction of fine skin tannins. Long maceration of 20 days minimum. Ageing for 19 month in oak casks.
Very freshly aromas of blackcurrant, fresh cherry, married with rare spices and tobacco. Fat mouth with amplitude, large body, deepness with fine tannins and long finish. Very well balanced and elegant.
Anthony Byrne Fine Wines Ltd. Registered in England and Wales with company number 01713692.