2019 Clos de la Barthassade, Carignan “K Libre” Vin de France Rouge, IGP Pays d’Herault, Languedoc, France.
The 100% Carignan K Libre by Clos de la Barthassade is deeply colored with dark garnet and purple hue and has a luxurious full bodied fruit, very grapey, driven palate, it shows ripe black raspberry, sweet plum, pomegranate and blueberry compote fruit layers with ultra smooth tannin along with snappy herbs de provence, wild flowers, dried spices and lingering creme de cassis. It opens up nicely and expresses the climate here, in this hilly part of the Languedoc, which is Mediterranean, with lots of sunny days and cool nights, giving the wines, like this one, a ripe warmth to them, but also allowing for balance and complexity. Martine’s Wines, known for finding rare gems, is the exclusive importer for Clos de la Barthassade for the United States and done fabulous job of creating a buzz for this tiny production label, while still offering them at reasonable prices, making them exceptional values. The generally red soils here have a mix of shale or calcareous clay which have an overlay of pebbles, that adds to the personality and dimension to these distinct offerings, including this all Carignan. Still youthful and primary in style at the moment, the K Libre looks to have the stuffing to age, though it is do delicious, you will be forgiven for popping the cork in the near term, as I did, and as a huge the Carignan (Carigane) grape I was more than thrilled by this beautiful version. The Clos de la Barthassade Cinsault, Carignan, that goes into this wine, and some smaller blocks of Grenache are grown in Montpeyroux, that the winery considers to be one of the finest terroirs here in the Languedoc. This site is called La Barthassade, where the name comes from, and as they also note, the sun-drenched terraces of mature vines get more moisture, along with more heat, making for grapes that reach perfect maturity, that results in wines like this tasty stuff. The winery uses 50 to 80 percent whole cluster, depending on the cuvee, with this wine seeing 24 months in both demi muides, 600-liter capacity oak barrels, and concrete eggs to promote transparency and freshness.
The Clos de la Barthassade wines, made by Guillaume and Helene Baron, are getting a lot of attention and I wanted to give them a try, especially their Les Gravettes, which I reviewed here last November, a red blend of organically grown Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, which impressed me with its deep perfume and complexity of flavors. This K Libre has now also delivered a note worthy performance with its incredible clarity and hedonistitic pleasure it gives in the glass. The Barron’s wines are made using a combination of concrete eggs, temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks and old barrels in the cellar the Baron’s wines are precise and textural, they ferment each lot separately with native yeasts and the wines are moved only by gravity flow, as to be as gentle as possible. As mentioned in my prior review, this husband and wife team of Guillaume and Helene Baron both graduated from their viticultural school and then put their time in at some highly acclaimed domaines in France. They spent time working with some of the most respected winemakers and producers in the country, including Sylvain Pataille, Domaine de la Pousse d’Or and, Trevallon and Dominique Derain. After which, they sought out their own piece of land to call their own, looking for an affordable region to settle in, which turned out to be here in the wild and remote L’ Herault area of the Languedoc-Roussillon. The Winery is based in the Terrasses du Larzac, which is about 45 minutes northwest of Montpellier, where the Baron’s are cultivating their vines with biodynamic practices. Clos de la Barthassade has a Rhone style focus on Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, as well as the Carignan that they make into this special single varietal bottling. The rugged, dry, windy lands of the L’ Herault is home to many legendary producers, like the Guilbert family’s famous Mas de Daumas Gassac and Grange des Pères. The Barons acquired 25 acres of vineyards and started making wines in 2014, these unique efforts are sensational and now Clos de la Barthassade have become highly sought after label, I highly recommend searching these out. When looking for their wines, don’t miss the mentioned Les Gravettes, a classic Rhone blend, as well as the Baron’s other bottlings, including the “Pur C” a single varietal Cinsault and this K Libre,100% Carignan!
($32 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive