Liberty, Vin de France, 2015

  Domaine La Barroche

Contains Sulphites.

About Domaine La Barroche

Julien Barrot, of Domaine la Barroche, is one of the young, emerging talents of the southern Rhône. After Julien completed his winemaking course in Montpellier he backpacked around the vineyards of France and Australia, thirsty for knowledge and eager to expand his experiences. He came back and joined his father in 2002, more convinced than ever of the importance of terroir. Julien's enthusiasm and passion rubbed off on his father and together they agreed to release the first Domaine-bottled wines in the 2003 vintage. For thirty years previously Julien's father Christian had been working the vineyards and making wine but selling it off in bulk to local merchants. Though Christian is still around to lend advice, he entrusted the entire Domaine to Julien as of the 2006 vintage. The estate is small, encompassing 12 ha, and is planted to the traditional varieties including Grenache, Mourvedre, Syrah, Cinsault, Terret Noir and Clairette. The average age of the vines is 60 years old and one third of the vineyard is more than 100 years old (Grenache.) Grapes are hand picked, wines are fermented in concrete vat and aged in a mixture of large old wooden foudres and smaller oak barrels. The wine is handled gently, everything is done by gravity, and extractions are gentle. This has rapidly become a stellar Domaine.

Appellation: Rhone

France’s wine growing “Rhone Valley” in reality covers two very distinct wine growing regions, separated by a vine-free gap of approximately 30 miles.

Whilst the A.O.C. Cotes de Rhone can in theory come from both the North and the South, in practice the two zones producer remarkably distinct wines. By far the greatest volume of wine comes from the flatter rolling hills of the south, home to Chateauneuf-du-Pape and other old favourites like Gigondas, Vacqueras and Lirac, as well as the majority of the ever popular ‘Cotes du Rhone’ . Blending is the order of the day in the South with Grenache forming the backbone of many cuvees. The late ripening Mouvedre is also common, alongside increasing amounts of Syrah plus Carignan, and Cinsaut (and a few others!). The whites are dominated by Marsanne and Roussanne. In the Northern Rhone the landscape is distinctly different, the valley being far steeper and the vineyards more perilous. Here, at least for the reds, Syrah is the undisputed King producing wines of spice, pepper and dark fruits that have the potential to age as long as almost anything out there. When it comes to whites, Marsanne and Roussanne are the most common, but there is also the aromatic delights of Viognier to consider, found at its very finest in the northern vineyards of Condrieu. Up and down the quality scale the Rhone stands out today for offering serious wines made by small quality conscious growers at very reasonable prices. A stellar run of recent vintages (barring the obvious 2002) and a wider pool of quality wine making talent than ever before has see the Rhone in recent years very much regaining its position front of mind for many of the world’s great wine collectors.

Grape Blend: Grenache | Syrah | Mourvedre

A classic blend, whose ultimate expression is found in the wines of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The Grenache with its body, sweetness and warmth, Syrah with its colour tannic structure and black fruit characteristics, and Mourvèdre with its complex spiciness and density, makes for a match made in heaven. The resultant wines can be truly great and very long-lived. The success of the blend in the Rhône, has seen producers the world over trying to emulate it, particularly in California, Australia, Spain and South Africa.