Domaine Barraud - 'En France'
One question in wine I evade is “what do you like for wine”? However, there are times when I don't mind answering this question … mostly when I don’t merely ‘like’ a wine but, rather, love a wine. I love this wine. I really do, it has everything that I champion in Wine: pedigree, provenance, place, and people. If you at all care about wine or especially care about Chardonnay from Burgundy, read on …
- 5th Generation Family Owned and Run
- Über small production, broken into various styles
- Organically Grown and Maintained Vineyards
About the Winery
Daniel Barraud is a paragon and legend in Pouilly-Fuisse – there are people more famous in the region but every time I mention him to Burgundian winemakers, they swoon just a bit. Julien Barraud, Daniel's son, is starting to carry on his family’s work of creating some of the best Chardonnay in the world. Yeah, I said the world. These wines transcend Pouilly-Fuisse and they rise above most Burgundy to become one of the purest definitions of what World Class Chardonnay is. All estate, 100% fully organic, small parcels, intricate wine making. The Barraud’s just do Chard better than almost everyone … all of that while charging a ridiculously small amount for their wine.
What It Tastes Like
This Chardonnay is the definition of a powerful Chardonnay. Where many of the Domaine’s other wines are mineral focused (due to the unique soils in the region … remains of a primordial coral reef) this one comes from a single vineyard where the two main slopes come together. The vineyard has a deep vein of decomposed limestone that has turned, over the eons, into blue clay. In warm vintages the wines here can be too ripe but in 2014 (a cool vintage) the latent minerality in the soil combines with the colder air to create a wine of thrumming tension between power and grace. Holy cow, this wine is too good not to love! Pure lemon, stone fruit, and a classic smoky minerality. It’s rich and textured with a delicate acid that keeps the wine fresh and alive (the Barrauds aren’t ones for lees stirring). There is a small touch of new oak here but the barrels for this wine are mostly larger 500L and that size works to tamp down the big vanilla from the newer wood. As much as I love the wine right now, I do wonder what is going to happen with age. I suspect that with time the ‘En France’ will transform itself nicely. At $31 a bottle, I can’t think of a more perfect Chardonnay – for those of you who turn your noses up at the mere mention of Chard… this one might surprise you. It’s just so pleasing, drinky, and highlights the perfection of having the right piece of land, the right people working it, and the right partners to ensure the wine is always the best it can be. Enjoy it, please.