2013 Domaine Leon Barral Faugeres Valiniere
blackberry , violet , oak , smoke , toast , vanilla, currant, blueberry, blackberry and strawberry
thyme , clove , cinnamon , black pepper , mint, spice box, cedar and dark fruit
"After founding the domaine in 1993, which he named after his grandfather, Didier Barral decided fairly quickly that biodynamic practices were the best choice for farming his vineyards. Deep in the heart of the Languedoc, in the Faugères appellation just outside the hamlet of Lenthéric, Domaine Léon Barral is a beacon of revolutionary winegrowing. Didier farms thirty hectares of vineyards, and this is no small feat. Incorporating biodynamic practices into a vineyard means working the soil rigorously, and with so much land to farm, it is fortunate that he has so much help. His workers of choice? A team of twenty cows, horses, and pigs that graze the cover crops in and around the vineyards. The simple act of grazing cultivates healthy microbiotic activity in the soil, bringing mushrooms, ants, ladybugs, earthworms, and other essential life forms, which add important nutrients while aerating the soil. This is the concept of sustainability at its finest, where the ecosystem creates interdependence between the animals and the vineyards.
Grapes are biodynamically farmed, all grapes are harvested by hand and then sorted, depending on the variety, grapes are de-stemmed (in general, grapes from the youngest vines), however whole clusters are also used, no SO2 is added, wine is vinified in gravity-fed, cement cuves, wine is fermented with natural yeasts, maceration takes place for 3 to 4 weeks with regular, manual punch-downs in an old wooden vat, after maceration, grapes are lightly pressed with an old, wooden, vertical, basket press. Aged for 24 to 26 months in barrel (10% new oak), the vineyards are northern facing for “Valinières”, wines are never racked, filtered, or fined. 15 to 30 years vine age." -Importer