Our latest Wine-Aid box features new vintage wines from biodynamic pioneer, Didier Barral. Didier’s vines grow beneath the scrub-covered ridges and windswept stone outcrops of Faugères. The appellation is known for its dry and crunchy metamorphic schist that forces the roots of the vines to penetrate deeply in search of moisture. This cherished soil for grape growing absorbs the heat of the daytime before releasing it in the cooler evenings. The humid Marin winds off the Mediterranean and the dry, violent Tramontane winds from the northwest are a constant presence in the Faugères hills that help to ventilate the vineyards. Most of Didier’s vines are very old, some up to ninety years of age. All of these factors help for even ripening of the grapes and further increases their concentration.
Didier farms about 75 acres of vines using biodynamic practices. Developed by Austrian philosopher and social reformer Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th Century, biodynamic agriculture is defined as “a spiritual-ethical-ecological approach to agriculture, gardens, food production and nutrition.” Biodynamic wine is made with a set of farming practices that views the farm or vineyard as one solid organism. The ecosystem functions as a whole. On Didier’s farm, ancient breeds of cattle graze the cover crops in and around the vineyards, which promotes healthy microbiotic activity in the soil. Between the vines grow all sorts of rare greens and unusual wild herbs, often harvested by Michelin starred chefs from all over France.
Although Didier considers the wine all but finished once it leaves the vineyard, the harvest is cared for with the same attention once it reaches the cellar. All wines are hand-harvested, hand-sorted, fermented with indigenous yeasts and have no sulfur added. They are never racked, filtered, or fined. While these minimal intervention principles form an idyllic narrative of a natural product, the fact is that Didier has a profound influence on other viticulteurs who can see how his ideology translates to results.
The price for this Wine-Aid package includes tax and delivery, as well as a 10% discount. We will also honor a 10% discount on any bottles you might wish to add to the Wine-Aid package.
Included in the Biodynamic Wine Pioneer Wine-Aid Package:
Domaine Léon Barral (Faugères, 2016) Three Bottles, Regular Price: $36
Didier’s traditional Faugères bottling is a blend of 50% Carignan, 30% Grenache, and 20% Cinsault from vines aged 40 to 70 years old. After fermentation, the wine is aged for two years in cement and stainless steel cuves. The aromatics are joyous with black cherries, cocoa, herbs and flowers. A sip is filled with fruit yet nimble on the palate, elegant even, with a finish of sun-baked stone.
“Jadis” (Faugères, 2016) Two Bottles, Regular Price: $47
50% Carignan, 30% Syrah, 20% Grenache, aged for 24 to 26 months in barrel (10% new oak). Black fruits and herbs in abundance. More focused and elegant than the classic cuvee, the 2016 “Jadis” is a similar blend that substitutes Syrah from southern-facing vines in place of the Cinsault. A wine that drinks great upon release yet will develop in a proper cellar over the course of a decade or more.
“Valinières” (Faugères, 2016) One Bottle, Regular Price: $69
80% Mourvèdre, 20% Syrah, aged for 24 to 26 months in barrel (10% new oak). “Valinières” is the domaine’s top cuvée, capable of medium to long-term cellar development. With a Mourvèdre base, this wine is big, meaty, and concentrated. The portion of Syrah comes from northern-facing vines. The cooler, northern exposure allows the grapes to remain on the vines longer, giving added maturity, greater concentration of flavors, and increased complexity.
We are committed to providing you with your wine needs in the safest way possible. We do encourage you to take advantage of our back door pick-up or free delivery. We can easily process the payment of your purchase over the phone and load you up without you needing to get out of the car. Or we can deliver it to your doorstep for free (within a reasonable distance of our shop) and leave it there for you to bring in at your convenience.