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.
In the vineyard the vines undergo rigorous bud pruning. Furthermore, green harvesting and leaf thinning are done. The picking is carried out entirely by hand, with sorting in the vineyard and again in the cellar.
Wine-making takes place in underground concrete vats. There is destemming of underripe stalks. The wine stays on the skins for over 4 weeks. Gentle extraction happens during this time. Ageing is done in old oak casks and 600 litre barrels which have been previously used for 1 to 3 earlier vintages. The wine is not filtered before bottling.
A blend of 14 parcels, mainly old vines Grenache (~62%), with 20% Mourvedre and the balance made up of Syrah (~12%) and Cinsault (6%).
This is an unique, elegant, silky and opulent wine that invariably expresses its distinctive qualities. It also shows great class thank to its deep colour, floral bouquet, freshness, cocoa flavours and delicate aftertaste. This offers wonderfully velvety ripe forest berry fruits, hints of strawberry, bullace sloe and damson. Glorious, crisp clear fruit flavours, enchanting and beguiling whilst boasting a more savoury, complex undertone of herb, sandalwood, salt and pepper.
"Potpourri and dried Provençale herbs on the nose. In the mouth it is rounded, immediately juicy and intense, but piercingly fresh. A pâté de fruit, red and black fruit character on the palate is accompanied by very fine but ample tannins. It's intense but lifted, structured, complete and harmonious. Very long and well balanced" (said Decanter, in late 2017, of the 2016).
ABV = 15.0%.