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2020 Faugères “Jadis”

Leon Barral
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A wonderful thing about Didier Barral is that he is too cut off from the rest of the world to know what the latest wine trends are, and too busy in his vines to care. On the surface he’s a winemaker, but it may be more correct to say he is a skilled farmer who obsesses over the small details and health of his soils, his various crops, his pigs and cows, his vines, and guides thriving grapes into vibrant wine. What you get is not what is hip or hot, but what the farm gives that vintage. The long macerations, slow presses, and years of aging in old barrels, during which he intervenes rarely and gently (nothing is ever added—not even a dollop), allow the juice to soak in the ambience and scents of the rural surroundings. The result is something completely unclassifiable, delightfully rustic, and totally wild: a mix of brambly aromatics, fresh-cut hay, meaty, gamy tannins, and chewy black fruit. Those initiated to Jadis will know what I mean, and those uninitiated really need to try it to believe it. Take your time with it, though. Let it breathe, and give it your full attention. It is a living piece of a distant farm delivered to your glass from one of the remotest corners of France.

Chris Santini

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 50% Carignan, 30% Syrah, 20% Grenache
Appellation: Faugères
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Domaine Leon 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 (practicing)
Alcohol: 14.5%

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About The Region

Languedoc-Roussillon

map of 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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