Making Châteauneuf Sexy Again: 2016 Domaine la Barroche Châteauneuf du Pape

Posted on: 01/16/19 6:52 PM


One of the best surprises of our 2018 campagne was the massive success we had with Domaine la Barroche’s 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape. It was refreshing to experience Châteauneuf become, well, sexy again. And if there was one wine to do it, it makes complete sense it would be Domaine la Barroche. When considering the price, primetime terroir (100 year old vines growing adjacent to Reyas) and the amount of critical hype focused on the young phenom Julien Barroche, plus throw in the magic that is 2016…well, yeah, it just makes sense.

Many of you who bought this wine in the first run have already asked for seconds. So here we are. Here is your second (and likely final) opportunity to grab this beauty! Warning: It’s not much!!!

2016 Domaine la Barroche Châteauneuf du Pape Signature

“A terrific entry-level offering, the 2016 Châteauneuf du Pape Signature is a blend of 62% Grenache, 18% Mourvèdre, 12% Syrah, 6% Cinsault and 2% other varieties. It’s full-bodied and intense but silky and almost weightless, delivering wonderful, complex notes of cherries, raspberries and an array of dried spices and herbs. With 2,500 cases produced, it should be fairly widely available and reasonably priced.” 93 Points, Wine Advocate

“Sexy, expansive aromas of ripe red and blue fruits, smoky minerals and candied flowers pick up a spicy topnote with air. Sweet and energetic on the palate, offering intense black raspberry and boysenberry flavors firmed by a spine of juicy acidity. Shows excellent clarity and floral-driven thrust on the impressively long finish, which is framed by supple, harmonious tannins.” (91-93) Points, Vinous

More About the Wine

Although the history of Domaine la Barroche is lengthy – the family estate that has been passed down from one generation to the next since the 14th century­–it wasn’t until 2002 when Julien joined his father’s side when things really got started. You can trace Julian’s ascendance as a winemaker with the quick rise of the estate.

The changes the young Julien brought were simple but remarkable in terms of the impact it had on the quality of the wine. His first move was to bring more precision to vinification – buying more vats so he could separate his fermentations by parcels and grape varieties. The second was a move toward organic viticulture, something which is much more expensive and time consuming, but Julien insisted. It was the right move. Critics began paying attention and by 2003 – just one vintage – somms and collectors came knocking at the door.

We’re twenty years into Julien’s story and it’s clear his success isn’t making him complacent. The wines have always been good, but it’s clear they are becoming better–more freshness, more refinement, more elegance and–somehow–more memorable. 2016 is the first vintage to be fermented in Barroche’s epic new cellar featuring swanky cement tulip tipped tanks in a large enough space that allows everything to be moved gently by gravity (winemaker’s rule: the gentler, the better). We’re thrilled to see how this new space will allow the light of Julien’s wines to shine even brighter.

Posted in Daily Flash By Tim Sellon