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Chambers Street is proud to present our 7th vintage from Domaine Barou in Saint-Joseph. Alexis Barou converted the estate to organic agriculture back in 1975 as he didn't find as much flavor in his cherries with "conventional" farming. His son Emmanuel, with wife Marie-Agnès, currently have about 3 hectares in Saint-Joseph, 1 hectare in Condrieu and 6 hectares of Vin de Pays in Charnas from which they produce elegant, unforced traditional wines - along with delicious organic cherries and apricots. Their farming is exemplary, using their own compost, keeping the soil covered, plowing as little as possible and avoiding even the organic treatments against mildew, as they can harm soil fauna. The Saint-Joseph parcels are in Limony, on de-composed granite, and Charnas, on stone covered firm granite. The Condrieu vineyard is on a steep south-facing granite slope with clay soil. "This is a name to watch" says Livingstone-Learmonth in "Wines of the Northern Rhône," "the domaine is emerging as a sound address for carefully made, natural wines."
The 2015 Saint-Joseph is perhaps the finest red we have yet received from the Barous (or perhaps tied with 2010?). The wine shows lush, pure fruit balanced with cool, firm acidity - a product of over 40 years of great organic farming. While wines from this northern zone of Saint-Joseph rarely show the depth of the finest examples from Tournon, Mauves and St. Jean-de-Muzols, the 2015 Saint-Joseph of Marie-Agnès and Emmanuel Barou is an oustanding wine that will give great pleasure over the next eight to ten years. For lovely everyday enjoyment, the Barou's 2015 Vin de Pays Syrah "Cuvée Vernes" is made from forty year-old vines in Charnay and spends one year in four to five year-old barrels. The wine is simply sensational, and is one of the best values in the store - drink over the next two to three years. The 2015 Vin de Pays Marsanne "Rendez-Vous" and 2015 Vin de Pays Viognier "la Bonne Etoile" also offer outstanding value. These two delicious whites offer lush, ripe fruit that is nicely balanced by firm acidity and mineral flavors, making them great aperitifs and excellent complements to seafood, chicken and Asian dishes.
Rounding out this offer from Domaine Barou are our last few cases from their neighbors Véronique and Philippe Grenier at Domaine des Amphores in Chavannay. As at Domaine Barou, the careful organic and biodynamic farming here produces excellent Saint-Joseph, Condrieu and Vin de Pays that are delicious wines and superb values!
Domaine Barou has been organic since the 1970s and also produces cherries, apricots and peaches. The Saint-Joseph vines are in Limony, on thin granite soils. Shallow plowing ("griffage") is done in the summer, with rye and clover growing between the rows in winter. The grapes are 80% de-stemmed, fermentations are with wild yeasts, aging is primarily in old barrels.The 2015 Saint-Joseph shows gorgeous aromas of blackberry and blueberry liqueur with violet, spice, citrus and roast meat. Quite pure and lovely. Ripe black fruits, bitter chocolate, earth, licorice and citrus continue on the lush palate which is framed in perfect, bright acidity. The finish is long and shows firm acids and mineral flavors. This is absolutely delicious now but has the structure to age nicely for ten to fifteen years. A sensational value and highly recommended!
From 40 year-old Syrah vines in Charnay, just outside the Saint-Joseph AOC, on living soils tended organically for forty years by Marie-Agnès and Emmanuel Barou. Plowing by tractor or weeding by hand on the steep slopes. Hand-harvested, wild-yeast fermentations, aging one year in 4 to 5 year-old barrels. The 2015 Cuvée des Vernes is simply sensational and one of the best values in the store! The wine shows deep black/red color with lush aromas of blackberry liqueur, licorice, blueberry and musk with cool minty notes - really lovely! The palate shows cool dense black fruits with dark chocolate, blueberry, earth, smoke and citrus with a beautiful, refreshing finish of minerals and fruit. This is an outstanding Syrah, equal to many many Saint-Josephs and simply delicious for current drinking. Serve a bit cool with almost anything from roast chicken to pork, rabbit, charcuterie and lamb, or just enjoy by itself. Case quantities are available. Highly recommended! DL
The Barou family family makes delicious wines, and grows cherries and apricots on their mixed-use organic estate in Charnas, in the northern section of the AOC Saint-Joseph. Their 2015 Vin de Pays Marsanne is a simply superb everyday wine! Light bronze/gold color. Aromas of almond, lime-flower, honeysuckle, lemon peel and hay, really quite pretty. Ripe stone fruits on the palate, primarily peach and dried pear with lemon, spice and saline mineral flavors with good balancing acidity in the long finish. Serve this lovely wine with chicken, full-flavored fish, mild cheeses and Asian foods. This is a unique and delicious wine and an extraordinary value - highly recommended!
The 2015 'La Bonne Etoile" Viognier shows ripe, complex aromas of peach, citrus, mango and lime-flower. The palate is lush and dense with peach, pineapple and pear - a cornucopia of ripe fruits framed in firm stony acidity. Just delicious! Not for oysters perhaps, but a beautiful aperitif, and perfect with patés, seafood, Asian cuisines and goat cheeses.
(From young vines, planted in the 90's, always organic, and from parcels of old vines, converted to organic, in Chavanay, below Condrieu) Philippe and Veronique Grenier have always farmed organically and now they have added biodynamic methods as well, bringing the quality even higher at this wonderful small estate. The 2015 Saint-Joseph shows a lovely melange of blackberry, black cherry and blueberry aromas with violet, rose, roast meat and earth. The palate is dense and complex with earth and mineral notes framing ripe black fruits with licorice citrus and spice. The finish is long with earthy black fruits and mineral flavors. This is a lovely combination of ripe complex fruits with earth and minerals, making it a superb food wine with a variety of grilled and roast meats, North African cuisine and full-flavored cheeses, not to mention "Caillottes." Along with Domaine Barou, winner of the 2015 CSW Best Value in Saint-Joseph!
Domaine des Amphores has a small, steep hillside parcel in Condrieu, organic since 2002 and now farmed with biodynamic methods as well. The 2014 Condrieu, 100% Viognier of course, shows elegant aromas of white peach and apricot with crushed stone and mineral notes. The palate is balanced and round with delicate flavors of white fruits, flowers and stone. The wine shows lovely freshness with saline minerals in the finish. Really a delightful wine and a great value in Condrieu!
"Les Iris" is made from organically tended Viognier vines just south of the Condrieu AOC. The 2015 is elegant and balanced with a powerful minerality. Pale lemon in the glass, the nose offers opulent aromas of peaches, nutmeg, and cut lime flowers. Creamy flavors of peach, touches of brown spice, and lemon zest develop into more tropical notes of mango, tangerine, and stone on the long finish. Forget what you think you know about Viognier and pair this one with chicken, fish or mild cheeses this summer. Amanda Bowman