JOIE DE VIVRE
Domaine la Barroche
The Barrot family first settled in Chateauneuf in the beginning of the 17th century, when Alexandre Barrot bought his first plot. The estate has been passed down from father to son ever since.
Today, Domaine la Barroche has 12.5 hectares 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 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 Mourvedre are put in 2 years old burgundy barrels, while Grenache is raised in foudres and steel tanks. Aging is done on the lees so the wine is not being racked.
These are resolutely traditional Châteauneufs, with the cuvée Signature showcasing everything you could possibly want from the appellation, and the rare cuvee Pure being a wine that rivals the very finest in the appellation.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape Signature -Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Others
Fiancée -Syrah (50%), Grenache (50%)
Pure -100% Grenache
Clos Saint Jean
Clos Saint Jean is a family estate founded in 1900 by Edmund Tacussel. In 1930 the estate came to the management of Camille Maurel, Leopold Tacussel’s son in law and heir of the Maurel family, a long line of landowners and vignerons of Chateauneuf. In 1991 brothers Pascal and Vincent Maurel, forming the 5th generation of Tacussel/Maurel working on the vineyards took over. However, the most recent chapter in the estate’s history began only in 2002, when a lot of changes occurred, starting with the implication of Philippe Cambie as consulting oenologist.
This is considered as a large estate for Chateauneuf-du-Pape (over 43 hectares). The majority of their holdings are in the south-eastern sector of the appellation, including major parcels in the very qualitative terroirs of La Crau, Les Combes and St.-Jean planted with 60 to 100 years old vines.
The estate practices complete de-stemming, long macerations and while Grenache is not aged in wood; other varietals are aged in one year old, French oak barrels or demi-muids.
Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge -Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Cinsault, Vaccareze, Muscardin
Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc -Grenache (1/3), Clairette (1/3), Roussane (1/3)
Deus Ex-Machina -Grenache (60%), Mourvèdre (40%)
La combe des Fous -Grenache (60%), Syrah (20%), Cinsault (10%), Vaccareze (10%)
The Balthazar domaine dates back to 1931, when Franck’s grandfather Casimir founded it. It was, however, only in 2002 that Franck left his engineering career to take over his father’s work on the steep granite slopes of Cornas.
The domaine’s vineyards are planted exclusively to Sérine, the ancient local clone whose small, olive-shaped berries produce a wine of greater aromatic complexity than modern syrah clones. Another key to the superb quality and character of Balthazar’s Cornas are the domaine’s great holdings. These include not only half-century-old vines in Mazards but a 1914 planting of Sérine in the revered Chaillot vineyard. Balthazar is also slowly expanding the amount of land under vine; a true son of Cornas, Franck has created terraces and planted vines on previously overgrown land on the steep Légre slope above the parcel of Sabarotte.
Made with ancestral methods, which have changed very little from those of his grandfather, Frank’s wines are some of the most expressive, elegant and traditional wines in Cornas.
He works almost entirely with whole clusters, and looks for a long and soft maceration of 13 to 14 days before the fermentation with native yeast in concrete vats is allowed to begin. The wine is then aged in old, neutral demi-muid barrels before being bottled without fining or filtration.
Textbook Cornas, the wines of Franck Balthazar are wines of stunning depth, concentration and complexity.
Cornas Cuvée Casimir
Cornas Sans Soufre
Côtes du Rhone
Vin de France
Côte-Rôtie has seen dramatic stylistic changes over the past few decades. From producing rustic, savoury wines redolent of aromas of bacon, violets, olives and roasted meats, to oaky fruit bombs the appellation is thankfully slowly coming back to more traditional, characterful winemaking practices.
One of the vignerons who’s never fallen for the modern style is Jean-Michel Stephan. A self-made man in every possible way, he has stuck to his guns, producing wines that are often made from old Serine vineyards, fermented whole cluster and aged in old oak. His affinity for natural wine and partial carbonic give the wines an extra dimension of clarity and aromatic expression, also making them somewhat more accessible in their youth compared to other wines from the appellation.
Côte-Rôtie Coteaux de Bassenon
Côte-Rôtie Coteaux de Tupin
Côte-Rôtie SO Brune
Aurélien et Charlotte Houillon
Aurélien Houillon is originally from Franche-Comté. He and his brother, Emmanuel, had the chance to meet Pierre Overnoy when they were young and learnt viniculture and winemaking by his side. When Pierre Overnoy retired, the two brothers took over the management of the legendry Maison Pierre Overnoy in Pupillin. In 2007, ready for new adventures, Aurélien decided to leave Jura and moved to Switzerland. There he guided a domaine through biodynamic conversion and extended his natural winemaking experience to new grape varietals. In 2016, Aurélien and his wife, Charlotte, settle in Roche Coucourde a lieu-dit at the bottom of Mon Ventoux in the south of France. A year later they produced their first vintage.
Their estate covers 9 hectares of vines, woods and fields. The couple practices organic and biodynamic farming. The soils are worked mechanically, without the use of pesticides, and are enriched by the fertilizer provided by their farm animals.
In the winery, Aurélien applies Jules Chauvet's method of winemaking. There are no additions or unnecessary manipulations in the cellar to respect the fruit and allow the wines to express their terroirs. All the wines are unfiltered and bottled by gravity without sulphur. The bottles are manually labeled with paper made at the domaine from its own vines.
The wines produced at Domaine Houillon comply with the specifications of the Côtes du Rhône appellation and are natural wines in the strictest sense of the word. The wines are intense, fresh and elegant. An estate to watch!
Côte du Rhône "Canne"
Côte du Rhône "Indigo"
Côte du Rhône "Les Terrasses"
Côte du Rhône