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2015 is just the second release of this extraordinary rosé. Nuances is a 100% Mourvèdre micro-cuvée, crafted from specific plots in the vineyard, in order to produce a wine of outstanding depth and potential to mature in the bottle (as Bandol rosé once did). The idea is to offer an even more complex, potent, and spicy style of Bandol rosé that could be sipped over the cooler months, with richer food and even over several years. To this end, the Pibarnon team identify the most promising, low yielding, old vine parcels of Mourvèdre for the Nuances bottling. The wine’s maturation in the cellar is also considerably longer (five months) than the classic rosé. The grapes for the 2015 received eight days of skin contact and the juice was then bled saignée style, without pressing. Fermentation and aging took place with natural yeasts in both Italian clay jars or amphora (one-third of the wine) and a large, 30 hectolitre Stockinger foudre for the balance. If all this sounds a bit ‘Rolls Royce’ for a rosé, you’d be right.
If Bandol rosé, in general, has been getting increasingly lighter and more frivolous (to cash in on the giant Cotes de Provence market), here is the antidote. It’s a layered, glowing, complex wine offering waves of deep, silken fruit offset by tremendous savoury grip, and pungent mineral freshness. It’s a rosé with plenty of guts, as we used to say, yet for all its depth and structure, there’s the classic elegance and refinement of Pibarnon’s highland, limestone terroir and the Domaine’s light hand in the cellar. Yes it’s a serious price for a rosé, but it’s also a serious wine and seriously rare wine to boot. It’s worth every penny if you ask us. - BIB notes 2017