Château Pibran 2010
• Domaine: Château Pibran
• Appellation: Pauillac
• Classification: Cru Bourgeois
• Origin: Left Bank, Bordeaux, France
• Importer: Laguna Cellar
For those interested in discovering the powerful, plump and fruity wines Pauillac has to offer, look no further than Château Pibran. This classic Crus Bourgeoise estate possesses a charming mixture of power and tannic structure that is balanced with ripe fruity qualities. Gifted with excellent terroir, Château Pibran neighbors prestigious estates such as Château Mouton Rothschild, Château Pontet Canet and Château Grand Puy Lacoste. The estate is in good hands and is managed by the talented team that runs the Super Second property, Château Pichon Longueville Baron.
Those who are in search of an approachable Pauillac should look no further than Château Pibran. Château Pibran is one of the younger Pauillac estates, with a history that dates to the beginning of the 20thCentury. Though one may expect younger states in a region like Pomerol, this is highly unusual for the Left Bank. In 1941 Paul Pibran Billa purchased the estate, giving it the name, “Pibran,” after his middle name. The estate was relatively unknown until it was purchased by the AXA group in 1987 from the Billa family. The quality of the wine experienced a rapid change when Jean Michel Cazes of the legendary Château Lynch Bages was placed in charge of running operations. The wine shifted from being rustic and heavily tannic to fruity, plump, and described affectionately by Robert Parker as, “rather tasty.” Christian Seely took over managing the estate in 2000, and the oenological team at Château Pibran is the exact same team that manages Château Pichon Baron.
The vineyard is a sizable 17 hectares, planted with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, but leaning heavier toward Merlot. There are smaller percentages of Cabernet Franc on the property as well. Château Pibran is one of the few Pauillac estates that has the highest percentage of Merlot in all of Pauillac. The gravely terroir hosts vines that are 30 years old on average. The wine is vinified in stainless steel, lending a soft and fruitiness to the quality of grand vin. After it is vinified in stainless steel the wine is aged in a mixed percentage of new French oak barrels and neutral ones. The new French oak adds just the right amount of structure, and aromas of cocoa and espresso. What makes Château Pibran such a lovely wine is the ability for it to be enjoyed on the younger side. A lot of grand vin from Pauillac estates requires quite a bit of ageing, as some of the wines are so tannic that they need time to rest and express their beautiful aromas. For Château Pibran, the wine is a distinctively soft, approachable wine that begs to be enjoyed casually for dinner or in the company of friends. There is plenty of charm to Château Pibran, and its soft fruity accessibility makes it a wine suitable for pretty much every purpose. The wine is blended with a hefty percentage of Merlot, which adds a certain element of spiciness, making it the perfect wine to pair with Asian cuisine.
"A major sleeper of the vintage, this under-the-radar Pauillac from the owners of Pichon Longueville Baron comes from a 42-acre vineyard, and the blend is divided equally between two grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Classic smoky barbecue notes intermixed with cassis, forest floor and cedar jump from the glass of this dense purple, thick, unctuously textured, rich and heady wine, which can be drunk in 3-4 years. Moreover, it should last for up to two decades. This is normally not too expensive a wine, since consumers do not follow it closely, so readers should take note." - Robert Parker Jr., The Wine Advocate (2/27/2013, Issue 205), Ratings: 90, Drink: 2016-2036
"Ripe and well-packed, but silky and racy too, with linzer torte, cassis and blackberry notes pumping along, flecked with singed anise and violet, showing a long graphite spine on the finish. Best from 2015 through 2030." – James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator, Ratings: 92
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