2020 Clos de la Barthassade, Cinsault “Pur C” IGP Pays d’Hérault Rouge, Languedoc, France.
I’ve become a big fan of the Clos de la Barthassade wines, a recent discovery for me, made by Guillaume and Helene Baron, are getting a lot of attention and I wanted to give them a try, especially this Pur C 100% Cinsault bottling, which feels as fun as a Cru Beaujolais, with racy red fruits, but with an exotic spicy personality, along with the Les Gravettes red blend of organically grown Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah, which also impressed me with its deep perfume and complexity of flavors. This Pur C almost feels carbonic and without any wood influence is wine of varietal purity and shows tangy cherry, plum and pomegranate fruits, along with dried herbs and intense cinnamon and red pepper notes, it’s a lighter framed red that is best served slightly chilled. The wines are made using a combination of concrete eggs, temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks and some very old barrels in the cellar and the Baron’s wines are precise and textural, though this one doesn’t have the fruit density of their other offerings. They ferment each lot separately with native yeasts and the wines are moved only by gravity flow, as to be as gentle as possible. The generally red soils here have a mix of shale or calcareous clay which have an overlay of pebbles. The climate here is Mediterranean with lots of sunny days and the wines here have a ripe warmth to them, but the wines are also fresh, clean and wonderfully balanced too. This Clos de la Barthassade Pur C is easily quaffable and is nice with a variety of cuisine options, especially this Cinsault with its juicy/spicy nature.

As noted in my prior reviews, Clos de la Barthassade, is led by the husband and wife team of Guillaume and Helene Baron, both of who graduated from their viticultural studies and then put their time in at some highly acclaimed domaines in France before seeking out their own piece of land to explore their talents. The youthful couple needed to find an affordable region to settle in, which turned out to be in the wild and remote L’ Herault area of the Languedoc-Roussillon and the Winery is located in the Terrasses du Larzac, which is about 45 minutes northwest of Montpellier. This is where the Baron’s are cultivating their unique parcels with biodynamic practices, with a focus on Syrah, Grenache and Cinsault, seen in this wine, as well as Carignan that they make into another special single varietal wine. These rugged, dry and windy lands are home to few legendary producers, like the Guilbert family’s famous Mas de Daumas Gassac and the cult Grange des Pères. The Barons acquired their 25 acres of vineyards land and began producing in 2014, and they became an instant hit and the wines are all stunning examples, with this Pur C being certainly of of their most unique and delicious offerings. The Baron’s Cinsault, along with their Carignan and some smaller blocks of Grenache, comes from their Montpeyroux site, that they consider one of the finest terroirs, it is called La Barthassade, hence the name of the domaine. Here, the Baron’s note, the sun-drenched terraces vines get more moisture, along with more heat, allowing the grapes to reach perfect maturity with just the right amount of stress to provide depth and concentration, which is clearly expressed in this latest release!
($30 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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