Terrasses du Larzac is about 45 minutes northwest of Montpellier in the Languedoc, one of the world’s few great appellations that are still approachable for young vignerons. 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 that Guillaume and Hélène Baron staked their claim, acquiring ten hectares of vineyards and producing their first vintage in 2014.
The location and varieties planted in each vineyard were carefully analyzed and selected by the exacting Guillaume. Syrah and Grenache are grown in Combariolles, where the nights are cold and the soil rocky, producing perfumed, Côte-Rôtie-like wines. Cinsault, Carignan and some Grenache are grown in 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. Chenin and Roussanne are planted in St-Saturnin, just west of Aniane, and produce the estate’s one white wine.
Nothing is left to chance here: the vineyards are cultivated with biodynamic practices, and concrete eggs, temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, and old barrels are used in the cellar with the wines moved only by gravity. Guillaume takes the unusual step–rare for Languedoc–of using 50-80% whole cluster, depending on the cuvée, which imparts a unique character to the wines.
The results are awe-inspiring, with every wine speaking clearly of its origin with elegance, balance, and purity of fruit. While production is tiny and the demand in France is already exceeding expectations, the potential of this domaine cannot be overstated.
Martine’s Wines is the exclusive U.S. importer for Domaine de la Barthassade.