Léon Barral: Faugerès Jadis

7th March 2018 0 By Martijn Kriens

I love wines that have a bit of a raw edge to them. It is hard to describe: it smells a bit like stable but the taste is much more fresh than wines with Brett (that, on occasion I enjoy too). It has a certain animalistic taste. I find it in wines like Guimaro Capellinos and in the wines of Léon Barral from Faugères (Languedoc). Barral uses natural yeasts that is often one of the reasons for this raw unpolished but oh so nice edge.

Domaine Léon Barral is managed by Didier Barral and he farms his vineyards zealously according to biodynamic principles. In winter his vineyard is even the home of a herd of cows, horses and pigs that keep the soil aerated as well as fertilised. To a rationalist like me the idea of biodynamics is slightly strange (moonlight?) but I definitely recognize that farmers that adopt biodynamic farming are the ones that are really focussed on creating the best wine possible from the land they farm. And willing to put in the effort to makes something memorable.

And you can taste the hard work and singular attention to purity he pours into his wines. The Jadis is his middle red between the normal Faugères and the Valinière. The first thing that you notice is the fresh but animalistic aromas from the wine entwined with fresh berries. Intriguing aromas that promise a complex wine. On the palate the animalistic edge is definitely there but accompanies with a lot of complex and developing flavours. Some herbal flavours but not heavy, accompanied by lots of fresh berries with a certain minerality and high acidity. Complex development in the long aftertaste. Not an easy, mellow wine and I think mainly enjoyed by experienced wine lovers. Tannins are slightly drying (2013 drank on March 2018). This wine can easily age 10 years and more for lovers of aged wine. RATED: 91

REGION: Faugères is a commune in the departement Herault in the Languedoc region and the name of the AOC. Soil type is mainly schist. Schist in this region helps to balance heat and water. Weather is a mix of mediterranean and mountainous. In general mild weather but on occasion it can be brutal.

VINEYARD: Soil is schist. Biodynamic farming with zeal. 10 Ha of vineyard for the Jadis with vines of 30 to 60 years. Gobelet style pruning of vines

GRAPES: 50% Carignan, 30% Syrah and 20% Grenache. The Syrah comes from a north facing slope to ensure longer ripening of the grapes

CELLAR: 4 weeks of maceration, natural yeasts, 26 month in barriques (10% new), no filtering and minimal sulphites in the end.