FRANCE | SOUTHERN RHÔNE
Today, Domaine La Barroche is represented by a veritable patchwork of family members, in much that way that Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s 13 grape varieties reflect the appellation’s complexity. Each person has their own individual character, but the same love of the terroir. Here is a non-exhaustive list of the men and women who have built, shaped, developed and inspired the Domaine through the centuries.
Alexandre Barrot, the founder – The family patriarch, Alexandre, bought the first land comprising the present-day Domaine in the village de Châteauneuf du Pape in 1703. It has been handed down from father to son ever since.
Eugène Gabriel Barrot, discoverer of terroirs – In the late 19th century, the present owners’ great-grandfather, Eugène Gabriel, carefully observed the soil in order to select plots worthy of planting with vines. At that time, it was normal for people to help their neighbours and, seeing as Eugène Gabriel had two winepresses, he often went to nearby estates to press their grapes from them.
Women winegrowers, essential to the Domaine in many ways – Far too often in the shadow, the women at Domaine La Barroche constantly strive to keep life at the Domaine going smoothly. They are the salt of the earth – the binding agent of the Barrot family and virtuosos at perpetuating an enviable lifestyle from generation to generation.
Christian Barrot, an unwavering passion – Even though young people at many neighbouring estates left to work in factories and abandoned their family vineyards in the middle of the wine crisis in the 1970s, Christian Barrot decided to take over the family estate. Christian knew the value of his terroir and what it was capable of producing. So he focused on making the most of it. Plot by plot, year after year, Christian achieved his vineyard’s full potential. He bottled a small part of the wine himself, calling it Lou Destré D’Antan (meaning “The Winepress of Days Gone By” in Provençal) in honour of his grandfather.
Julien & Laetitia Barrot, the up-and-coming generation – Julien and Laetitia, brother and sister, are totally committed to their terroir, and exemplify the family values handed down to them. They arrived at the family estate in the early 2000s, and their future looks very bright.
Laetitia, the elder sibling, contributes her feminine sensitivity to a world that is traditionally masculine. She is unquestionably one of the Domaine’s driving forces and totally indispensable for its development. With a background in communication and international commerce, she considers the world small, and Châteauneuf-du-Pape its centre. After working for large international groups for over a decade, Laetitia felt the need to get back to her roots and to promote her family’s terroir and its wine.
Julien, the younger brother, has the resolute character typical of winegrowers devoted to their vocation and appellation. He came to work at the estate in 2002, barely 22 years of age, just after finishing his studies of oenology and with a business degree. Motivated by a burning desire to learn, he belongs to the new, totally committed generation of winemakers who are very open-minded, although greatly respectful of the terroir and the traditions passed on from previous generations. He has been responsible for making several vintages and pinpointing the specific qualities of every plot, leading to the creation of various cuvées with their own individual character: Pure and Fiancée.
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Carignan
- A new wine from Julien, his Vin de France comes mostly from a parcel of 65-year-old-vines planted in a cooler, higher elevation parcel. In addition, it includes some of his declassified Châteauneuf-du-Pape grapes, hence the Vin de France label and not Côtes du Rhône (Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the few appellations that cannot be declassified to Côtes du Rhône.) Made from 55% Grenache, 18% Syrah, 12% Mourvèdre and the rest Cinsault and Carignan, it tastes like a Châteauneuf-du-Pape with its juicy black raspberry, violets, peppery herbs and distinct minerality. This comparison is certainly still valid on the palate, as well and its medium to full-bodied, concentrated and structured, with a sappy, grippy style that will evolve nicely for 7-8 years or more. Don’t let the Vin de France label sway you, this is the real deal.❞ – Jeb Dunnuck, Robert Parker Wine Advocate (October 2016)
- 92 POINTS – Robert Parker, Wine Advocate (October 2016)
CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE CUVÉE JULIEN BARROT
Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah, Vaccarèse, Clairette Rose, Cinsault
- I was able to taste two releases from Julien Barrot. Looking first at his 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Julien Barrot, which is a blend of 60% Grenache, 19% Mourvedre, 13% Syrah, and a handful of other varieties, it sports a deeper purple hue to go with a fabulous bouquet of kirsch and blackberry fruits as well as licorice, crushed stone, licorice, and ground pepper. It shines for its balance and elegance on the palate, but still brings substantial fruit as well as structure. It's a thrilling wine that will benefit from 2-4 years of bottle age and keep for two decades in cold cellars.❞ – Jeb Dunnuck (November 2022)
- A tasting of two foudres and a cement tank that make the body of the blend point to a precise and fine style of this cuvée in 2020. A little lighter than usual, but enjoyably fresh and slender, with relatively modest levels of alcohol. The Mourvèdre was particularly good here in 2020.❞ – Matt Walls, Decanter (September 2021)
- 94 POINTS – Jeb Dunnuck (November 2022)
- 93 POINTS – Matt Walls, Decanter (September 2021