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Double Barral

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Faugères 2012, Valinière, Domaine Léon Barral ($61.00, 12427052)
A 80-20 blend of Mourvèdre and Syrah from biodynamically farmed vines between 15 and 30 years old. Manually harvested. Gravity-fed into cement vats. Macerated and fermented with indigenous yeasts three to four weeks with regular manual punch-downs. Aged 24 to 36 months in oak barrels (10% new). Never racked, filtered or fined. No added sulphur. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Vini-Vins.
Complex, unplumbable nose: Médoc-like aromas with notes of spice, cherry, “burned popcorn,” hazelnutty dry-aged beef and, eventually, flowers, cedar and clay. Brooding and introverted on the palate. Full-bodied. Balanced though displaying a tight, rigid frame. Possessed of every dimension. The endless finish has a spicy note that one taster likened to tourtière and another to incense. Magnificent. A complete wine that won’t peak for a decade. (Buy again? Budget permitting, yes.)

Faugères 2012, Jadis, Domaine Léon Barral ($42.00, 12427010)
A blend of Carignan (50%), Syrah (40%) and Grenache (10%) from biodynamically farmed 30- to 60-year-old vines. Manually harvested. Gravity-fed into cement vats. Macerated and fermented with indigenous yeasts three to four weeks with regular manual punch-downs. Aged 24 to 36 months in oak barrels (10% new). Never racked, filtered or fined. No added sulphur. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Vini-Vins.
Deep and savoury nose of slate, graphite, plum and dried beef. In the mouth, it’s juicy yet dry, tight yet beautifully balanced. The dark fruit, redolent of spice, is set on slate, structured with tingly tannins and acidity. The long finish strikes a peppery note. Such purity, precision and just plain deliciousness. It may be a baby but it’s a gorgeous one. (Buy again? Done!)

Both wines were carafed and poured back into their bottles at 4 p.m. We tasted them at about 9:30. I kept my glasses and returned to them after everyone had left and I’d finished straightening up the room, at 11 p.m., i.e. seven hours later. Only then were they really beginning to sing.

MWG October 8th tasting: flight 5 of 7

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Written by carswell

October 20, 2015 at 12:30

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