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2013 Faugères “Jadis”

Domaine Léon Barral

2013 Faugères “Jadis” Domaine Léon Barral - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Many of you may be aware of Didier Barral’s status in France as one of the few capable of truly “making wine in the vineyard.” He definitely takes the concept to the extreme. When you cut off the main road and meander through rolling hills to find his domaine in the small hamlet of Lentheric, time decidedly slows down. With the exception of tractor technology, little has changed here in terms of viticulture since Roman times. Each time I arrive, Didier’s brother Jean-Luc will inevitably be in their tractor shed tinkering with one of their new inventions, his mother will be tending her vegetable patch next to the shed, and his son Victor will be rooting for earthworms to go fishing or minding the family’s ducks and chickens. It has been this way every visit over the past ten years, and I really don’t expect it to change much.
     Each year Didier will have new theories about harnessing the wonderful power of Mother Nature to promote biodiversity and, most important for him, vine health in his vineyards. Last year he planted fruit trees around his vineyards to allow bats to effectively hunt at night and eat predatory insects. Didier has no cell phone, television, email address, or computer, and hones his craft by observation and reflection.
     Barral wines come straight from the farm—nothing added or taken away—and you immediately taste the difference. Jadis is based upon old-vine Carignan but sees a complement of southern-exposed Syrah along with a dollop of Grenache. Didier ages it in older barrels for two years prior to bottling. –Dixon Brooke
Vintage: 2013
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 50% Carignan, 30% Syrah, 20% Grenache
Appellation: Faugères
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Domaine Léon Barral
Winemaker: Didier Barral
Vineyard: 30 to 60 years, 10 ha
Soil: Schist
Aging: Aged for 24 to 26 months in barrel (10% new oak)
Farming: Biodynamic
Alcohol: 14.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Languedoc-Roussillon

Ask wine drinkers around the world, and the word “Languedoc” is sure to elicit mixed reactions. On the one hand, the region is still strongly tied to its past as a producer of cheap, insipid bulk wine in the eyes of many consumers. On the other hand, it is the source of countless great values providing affordable everyday pleasure, with an increasing number of higher-end wines capable of rivaling the best from other parts of France.

While there’s no denying the Languedoc’s checkered history, the last two decades have seen a noticeable shift to fine wine, with an emphasis on terroir. Ambitious growers have sought out vineyard sites with poor, well draining soils in hilly zones, curbed back on irrigation and the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and looked to balance traditional production methods with technological advancements to craft wines with elegance, balance, and a clear sense of place. Today, the overall quality and variety of wines being made in the Languedoc is as high as ever.

Shaped like a crescent hugging the Mediterranean coast, the region boasts an enormous variety of soil types and microclimates depending on elevation, exposition, and relative distance from the coastline and the cooler foothills farther inland. While the warm Mediterranean climate is conducive to the production of reds, there are world-class whites and rosés to be found as well, along with stunning dessert wines revered by connoisseurs for centuries.

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Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

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