HIGHLY ANTICIPATED 2015 CHATEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE VINTAGE
"Julien Barrot’s family has farmed in the region for generations and had been selling to negociants – but more recently, they began to produce the wines themselves. I personally visited the Domaine a couple of years ago, walked the vineyards, and tasted the lineup with Julien – it really opened up my eyes to how phenomenal his winesare… he is an absolute rock star! Last year, Jeb Dunnuck revisited the wines, and nudged the scores higher – they are drinking superbly now, and will continue to do so for many years." – Jim Knight, Wine House (2/17/17)
JEB DUNNUCK ON THE 2015 SOUTHERN RHONE VINTAGEThis is certainly a very, very good vintage for the entire Southern Rhône Valley. The vintage started with a normal spring and an even crop set, before turning hot and dry through the end of August. Temperatures routinely exceeded 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and from April through September, the region received more sunshine than in either 2010 or 2011, which were both very sunny years. However, storms late in August, and again in September, resulted in a later, lengthy harvest.
The reds are full-bodied and show beautiful purity of fruit, good concentration and notable, yet ripe and rounded tannin structures. Moreover, the quality is incredibly high across all of the appellations, and even across all varieties, which is uncommon. However, while the average quality is high, I found fewer truly great wines than I would expect from an exceptional vintage. Alcohol levels are slightly down over 2010 and 2007, and the wines stay fresh, focused and lively on the palate, with more finesse than overt power and richness. Most vignerons I spoke with compared 2015 to a mix of 2007 and 2010, but I find that comparison optimistic. In my mind, 2015 is closer to a beefed up 2006, with very classic, pure characters that I suspect will evolve gracefully in the cellar. In addition, this is fabulous vintage for the whites! The acidity is slightly lower than in the 2014s, but there’s additional concentration, texture and richness, and the inherent purity and freshness of the 2015 vintage is still present. While the 2000s saw an incredible climb in the quality of the reds, we’re now seeing the same qualitative growth with the whites. At the end of the day, 2015 is a beautiful vintage for Southern Rhône lovers that will be a treasure trove for the actual wine drinkers out there.
ABOUT DOMAINE LA BARROCHE
Region: Southern Rhone
Producer: Domaine la Barroche
Domaine la Barroche is a family estate that has been passed down from one generation to the next since the 14th century. Julien’s father, Christian Barrot, is passionate about viticulture and has taken meticulous care of the family’s 12.5 hectare of vines since the early 1970’s. Until Julien joined his father back in 2002, all of thewine had been sold in bulk to negociants. Now, half of the Grenache vines are more than 100 years-old and are some of the oldest found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Julien has moved to completely organic viticulture (not certified) and his father is still following his passion and continues to work in the vineyards. Taking all of his father’s work to the next level, Julien is now vinifying each grape variety and some parcels separately, studying and learning his holdings parcel by parcel.
The vineyards are mainly in the north/north-east sector of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Each parcel has a unique terroir. Fine sand in Grand Pierre (next to Rayas) produces elegant and velvety Grenache from vines planted around 1900. From Grand Pierre one foudre of "Pure" is made per year. Fifty-year old Cinsault grows in Les Cerises with golden galets stones and produces a full-bodied and powerful wine. Grenache vines average forty years old in Pied-Long and Cabrières with a sandy, marl soil with some ANTON; ) 2015-05-30 00:00:00.000 num="0") ) 0.0 ?k,¢