Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhône Valley, France
The Barrot family first settled in Châteauneuf-du-Pape in the beginning of the 17th century, when Alexandre Barrot bought his first plot, the estate has been passed from father to son ever since. Marcel Barrot was the one who took the estate to another level, passionate about terroir and vines, he expanded considerably the Domaine by acquiring new plots within the appellation, but still at that time all production was sold in bulks to negociants. It is only in 2003 when young Julien Barrot, grandson of Marcel and current winemaker, took over the estate after practicing throughout the vineyards of France and Australia, that the wines were first estate bottled. The experience happened to be a success, rapidly a series of incredible wines emerged which soon conquered the critics with 2005s (96Points Parker), 2006s, 2007s and 2010s (99+ Points Parker).
The estate has 12.5ha of vines, where traditional varieties are planted, including Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Terret Noir and Clairette. The average age of the vines is 60 years old and one third of the vineyard (Grenache) is 110 years old making the very singular Cuvée Pure.
Julien Barrot is a firm believer in biodynamic and non-interventionist practices, his meticulous approach implies keeping the wines from different grape varieties in different types of containers depending on their personality and structure and letting them evolve separately. The grapes undergo a cold maceration in concrete vats; extraction is very gentle to retain more fruitiness. Syrah and Mourvèdre are put in 2 years old burgundy barrels, while Grenache is raised in foudres and steel tanks. Ageing is done on the lees so the wine is not being racked.
His wines are luscious, opulent and powerful they boast black fruits and spices with yet supple tannins and a certain delicacy that is rare to find in southern Rhône wines.