13-04-2016

Domaine la Barroche now in its new cellar

Passing down from the north of France and after stopping off to judge in Lyon I made a quick stop to Châteauneuf-du-Pape to taste at Les Printemps as well as visit the brand new cellar of Domaine la Barroche. This was of special interest for me as my first visit to their winemaking premises was in the fall of 2014 when I went through their old cellar that Julien had dutifully been using since taking over and starting to bottle the wines in 2002.

It was a functional, yet rustic affair with old tanks and barrels that was built in to their family home. Julien had made good use of this space and garnered attention from a number of wine critics but it was quite clear that to grow meant updating their facilities and after a couple years of construction, they were finally able to move in to their new cellar for the 2015 harvest.

What I love about it is that it’s essentially a re-imagining of their old family cellar. It remains gravity fed with their fermentation tanks up top and barrels downstairs. The initial tanks are all concrete and unlined which shows tribute to Julien’s continued use of neutral aging vessels. In the barrel cellar I saw what must have been one of the old cuve from the original cellar as well.

As the weather was crap (last year at Printemps was mind-blowingly great weather) and Julien was tied-up in a tasting seminar, we tasted through the wines with his sister Laetitia who ironically I tasted with the first time I visited their winery as well. It gave a chance to see how the various vintages were affecting them as well as see what the future held–I’m very excited to try their 2014 wines for instance.

Domaine la Barroche 2013
Chocolatey and full in the nose, light mid palate with good fruit and acidity. Probably less life than other vintages but still well-formed.

Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault 13.5% 29€
**-

Domaine la Barroche 2012
Bit more stewed dark fruits, full tannic structure with more years for it. Currently a bit short but will level out with more years.

Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault 14% 29€
*+

Domaine la Barroche 2011
Red fruits, ripe cherry, graphite, sweet spice, vanilla, roasted almonds, bit of sage, black pepper. Medium plus body and acidity, alcohol, bit spicy in the finish, could still stand another 1-2 years in the bottle to fully round out as it’s a bit jubilant and excited at the moment.

Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault 13.5% 29€
**+

Pur 2014
Herbal lushness, good acidity, balanced red fruit. Light and even on the palate. Still tight and needs more tine in the bottle but incredibly spirited and alive for such a tough vintage. Will definitely reach top-tiered levels in due course.

100% Grenache 14% 65€
**+