jamie goode's wine blog

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Tonight, a dinasour wine. One that isn't roaming the earth any more, at least in its present form. Back in June 2000 I first tasted this wine at La Vigneronne, with Rainer Pfefferkorn the proprietor (notes are here). It was my first ever La Vigneronne tasting - the first of many (these were to prove an important education in my early years as a wine nut), and I described this wine in glowing terms ('lovely, perfumed nose with an unusual medicinal edge. Again, lovely southern character. Opaque purple/ black -- the darkest of the Baruels. Massively tannic with dense fruit and firm acidity. Needs time, but will it ever resolve? Excellent'). Now, six years later, has it resolved. Sort of . Shortly after this tasting Pfefferkorn sold this estate, and I haven't followed it since his last vintage in 1998. But he did make some remarkably long-lived wines from a rather modest terroir, with high acid and tannin, as well as fresh, bright fruit.

Domaine du Baruel 1995 Vin de pays des Cevennes, France
Fresh, bright, spicy, earthy nose with some nice red fruits. The palate is tannic and spicy, with good acid hemming in the red fruits very effectively. It has evolved nicely, but it's still fresh, and there's a lovely earthy complexity emerging. Still pretty tannic, I reckon this is drinking almost as well as it is going to now, while there's still fruit to balance the structure. But no need to hurry. Remarkable for a 11 year old wine from the Languedoc. I'm enjoying this a lot. Very good/excellent 92/100


At 1:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for the note on the 95 Baruel. I too enjoyed six educational years at LaVig around the same time as yourself. Hadn't tried the 95 for several years so its time to crack open another bottle of the remaining ten (also have an untouched case of the 98).

Vin Madden

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I think 1998 was Rainer's last year, wasn't it? I'm amazed at the longevity of these wines.

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Vin said...

Checking Mike and Liz Berry's Grand Cru Wines website I found:

"Rainer Pfefforkorn produced some excellent wines from this small domaine, high in the hillsides of the Cévennes, where he had nine hectares of syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, on a stony slatey marl soil. Unfortunately he decided to sell up in 1999, and has moved not that far away, where he is in the process of creating another small vineyard…. Watch this space!"

They still list the 95 in Magnums at £25.

I then found on
http://www.thewinedoctor.com/languedoc/baruel.shtml confirmation that 98 was his last vintage. It gives tasting notes on the two 98 cuvées; on the basis of which I'll leave my 98 a few more years.

I still have plenty of other LaVig wines to enjoy for now!

Vin Madden


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