Guillaume and Helene Baron graduated from viticultural training then worked for some of the most respected winemakers and groundbreaking estates in France before seeking their own piece of land.
One of the few great appellations of the world that is still approachable for young vignerons, the Terrasses du Larzac is about 45 minutes northwest of Montpellier in the Languedoc. The rugged, dry, windy lands are home to many legendary producers–Mas de Daumas Gassac and Grange des Pères to name a few. It is here the Barons staked their claim, acquired 25 acres of vineyards and produced their first vintage in 2014.
The location of each vineyard and how each was planted were carefully analyzed and selected by the very exacting Guillaume. The Syrah and Grenache are from the Combariolles, where the nights are cold and the soil rocky, producing very perfumed Côte-Rôtie-like wines. The Cinsault, Carignan and some Grenache are grown on one of the best terroirs in Montpeyroux, called La Barthassade. Here, the sun-drenched terraces still see a lot of rain, and the combination of heat and water allows the grapes to reach perfect maturity. The Chenin and Roussanne are planted in St. Saturnin, just west of Aniane, and produce the estate’s one lovely white.
Nothing is left to luck here: the vineyards are cultivated with biodynamic practices; concrete eggs, temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks and old barrels are used in the cellar; and the wines are moved only by gravity. Guillaume takes the unusual step–rare for Languedoc–of using 50 to 80 percent whole cluster, depending on the cuvee, which imparts very unique character to the wines. The results are extremely impressive, with every wine speaking clearly of its origin with elegance, balance and purity of fruit. While production is extremely small and the demand in France is already exceeding expectation, the potential of this domaine cannot be overstated.
Martine’s Wines is the exclusive importer for Clos de la Barthassade in all of the United States.