2013 Chateau de Pibarnon, $40.00

To be honest, this wine is well out of my comfort zone price wise.  And while I usually discourage friends and family from giving me wine as a present, I’m glad that advice was ignored. Pibarnon’s vineyards are some 1000 feet above sea level at the high point of Bandol. That altitude, along with the influence of the Mediterranean, helps moderate the southern temperatures. Though not certified, the estate is farmed using organic principles. This 2013 is a blend of Clairette (45 percent), Bourboulenc (30 percent),  the rest a mix of local varieties including Roussane and Viognier. It’s round, ripe and rich but surprisingly well-balanced. Unctuous peach, mango and racy lime fruit flavors caress the palate. Soft acidity comes through on the finish that lingers on and on. A great winter white.