Old vines in Thierry Navarre's mountainside vineyards

Great Wines/Great Values: Thierry Navarre in Saint-Chinian, Domaine Barou in Saint-Joseph and More!

Share

Thierry Navarre, Roquebrun, Saint-Chinian

We're proud to be working with the affable Thierry Navarre, one of the first producers of natural wines in the Languedoc. Based in the town of Roquebrun in Saint-Chinian, Thierry became the third generation to take over the domaine's high-altitude vineyards in 1988 and continued his grandfather's legacy of preserving ancient varieties. Today, Thierry is one of the few winemakers in the region still making wine from the obscure Œillades (a cousin of Cinsault), Terret and the light and delightfully floral Ribeyrenc.

Thierry Navarre  (photo E. Lillie)

Thierry's vineyards are planted high up in the mountains, farmed organically, and are surrounded by olive trees and flowering bushes. The vines are southwest exposed, and the soils are composed of loose brown schist, which generally produce lighter, more early-drinking styles than wines from the clay and limestone based soils in the south of the Saint-Chinian appellation. His intuition for winemaking and passion for history translate into some of the most compelling wines we carry from the Languedoc-Roussillon.

We weren't able to visit Thierry this past winter, but had a great tasting with him at La Dive Bouteille in Saumur, where his entire range showed beautifully. First up was the 2022 "Vin d'Œillades" which was extraordinary - bursting with brambly dark fruit, ripe, dense and long but at the same time relatively light and low in alcohol, just a delightful wine! The 2022 Rosé d'Oeillades was lovely as well, a bit lighter and more floral with some Rbeyrenc in the blend. The 2021 "Cuvée Olivier" is from the estates oldest vines of Carignan, Grenache and Syrah - it's a deep and elegant Languedoc red that is wonderful in 2021, supple and long and beautifully balanced with elegant tannins. It's delicious now and will develop nicely in the cellar for ten to fifteen years. The 2022 Ribeyrenc is made with an almost extinct grape grown in the Languedoc, Ribeyrenc which has been preserved mostly due to the work of Thierry Navarre and his father before him, planted on slopes of schist, exposure south-east.  It’s thin-skinned, with low alcohol, and yields a fresh and vibrant red wine that could easily pass for a dark rosé. From a vineyard co-planted with old varieties - Ribeyrenc Blanc, Grenache Gris and Clairette du Languedoc - Thierry made the 2021 "Lignières." It's a delighful wine with slightly spicy and floral aromas of almond, pear and honeysuckle,  dry and dense  on the palate with mineral, herbal and dried stone fruit flavors - really lovely, a great aperitif or serve with fish or chicken in sauce, salads, sheep and goat cheeses.

The wines of Thierry Navarre are not expensive, but they are quite special - unique and natural expressons of his mountainous schiste terroir - we urge you to try them!

Domaine Barou: Vins de Pays Syrah, Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier vines at the top tof the slope

Domaine Barou, Charnas, Saint-Joseph

The wines of Domaine Barou give us the true flavors of the northern Rhône at modest prices - perfect for everyday enjoyment or short-term cellaraing. The 2022s are gorgeous wines - ripe and supple but nicely balanced with refreshing acidity. The Vins de Pays Syrah and Marsanne offered today  are astonishing values, while the Saint-Joseph Rouge and Blanc will drink beautifully for 5 to 10 years. Some details from the estate:

Condrieu and Saint-Joseph vines are on steep slopes

"From 1971, Alexis BAROU, then at the head of this small polyculture-livestock farm, took the risk of opting for a total conversion to Organic Farming. In 1997, after studying viticulture-oenology in Orange and Avignon, Emmanuel, his son, took over the family torch and oriented the estate more towards arboriculture and especially viticulture. This specialization is reflected in the planting of new plots in AOC Saint-Joseph and Condrieu, and the conversion of an old building into a wine cellar, bottle storage and customer reception area. Our vineyard extends over an area of approximately 15 hectares. It is characterized by weathered, light and stony granite soils. In some plots, the rock is flush with the surface of the soil and forces the vines to take root in the fissures of the bedrock in order to develop. In the commune of Charnas, there are most of the “VDP des Collines Rhodaniennes” vines, as well as the Saint-Joseph Blanc.

Marie-Agnes Barou

We produce wines from four main grape varieties: Syrah in red, Marsanne, Roussane and Viognier in white. The vines in AOP Saint-Joseph Rouge (Syrah) and AOP Condrieu (Viognier) are mostly located in the town of Limony. For nearly 50 years, our farm has been conducted in Organic Agriculture. All our products are AB certified. We also use practices used in biodynamics (use of dynamized 500 and 501 preparations) and amendment of the vines with biodynamic compost. During the vinification period, we only use natural products and we add the lowest possible doses of sulfur to the wine.

 

 

 

 

Alexis and Emmanuel Barou

For us, respect for our planet is essential. In our practices, we make every effort to preserve our environment. The vines are entirely mechanically maintained in the row. Between the rows, we plant a mixture of rye, fodder radish, fodder pea, horse bean, clover and mustard, which we grind or crush with a roller in the spring. During periods of risk, we apply treatments based on Copper and Sulfur, as well as whey (from a nearby organic farm) to fight against the main diseases (mildew, powdery mildew)… In periods of low risk, we use only herbal preparations (nettle, horsetail, yarrow and dandelion)."

These are delightful wines and great values!

While we're in the northern Rhône, a 30 minute drive south brings us to the hillside granite vineyards of Domaine Rousset in Crozes Hermitage and Saint-Joseph. The beautiful 2021s are back in the shop, to be enjoyed now or after 10 to 20 years of cellaring...

And a similar short drive west through the hills north of Bezier will take us from Thierry Navarre to the crazy, rocky limestone soils of Clos du Gravillas in Saint-Jean de Minervois. The wines from this very special estate are getting rave reviews from CSW customers - we've added a few of our favorites - please give them a try!

Wines are in stock in our store or warehouse and will be available for pick-up or shipping on Tuesday 8/1. All of these sensational values discount 10% on a case or mixed case!

Navarre 2021 Saint-Chinian Cuvée Olivier

Thierry Navarre's  Cuvée Olivier is a blend from old vines of Carignan, Grenache, and Syrah in Thierry’s 12-hectare practicing organic estate situated in the AOC of Saint-Chinian, grown in brown schist soils that give density to the finished wine. 2021 is an excellent vintage for the "Olivier" with earthy dark fruits, quite supple and long with elegant tannins.  On the nose it is deep and complex with dusty dark plum, boysenberry, pink peppercorn, sage, lemon oil, and clementine zest.  The palate is poised and structured, leaning towards more smoky and mineral flavors but is balanced by fresh fruit. Blackberries, citrus, and savory herbs come to mind on the finish that lingers on the palate. On day two the palate is beginning to open up with more fruit redolent of pomegranate seeds and  minerals.  Drink now or cellar for 10 to 15 years. Truly a great wine, perfect with grilled meats, tagines and stews and a fantastic value.

  • red
  • 1 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Navarre 2022 Vin de France Ribeyrenc

An almost extinct grape grown in the Languedoc, Ribeyrenc (Rivairenc) has been preserved mostly due to the work of Thierry Navarre and his father before him, planted on slopes of schist, exposure south-east.  It’s thin-skinned and yields a fresh and vibrant red wine with only 10.5% alcohol, and is possibly related to Cinsault.  The 2022 is simply delicious, as usual! The aromas are complex with red fruits, spice, herbs, tobacco, rose petal and tea-leaf. Low-alcohol and  light-bodied and a bit delicate with red currant, fraise des bois, spice, pine forest floor and smoke on the palate, with bright acidity and a long finish - fresh, aromatic, and unlike anything else, really a lovely wine ! EL Our new fave chillable summer red, find it in our fridge! GH

  • red
  • 10 in stock
  • $17.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Navarre 2022 Vin de France Vin d'Oeillades Rouge

Oeillades is an ancient Languedoc variety, probably related to Cinsault. Thierry Navarre, who is proud of his vineyards of "forgotton varieties," produces Terret and Ribeyrenc as well as this lovely light-bodied Oeillades. The 2022 has pretty high-toned red-currant, boysenberry, black plum, violet,  white pepper, and spice aromas, quite fresh and appealing. The palate has  red currant and plum fruit, it's light to medium-bodied, but with lovely ripeness and depth with refreshing acidity and good sappy length. Good intensity of fruit but low, 11.5% alcohol, which makes it very food-friendly. Serve cool with charcuterie, burgers, grillled chicken and pork and mild cheeses. Highly recommended and a great value!  David Lillie

  • red
  • 3 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Barou 2022 Saint-Joseph Blanc "Le Sud"

The beautiful 2022 Barou Saint-Joseph Blanc is 50 % Marsanne, 50% Roussanne grown on decomposed granite soils at the top of the slope in Charnas (Saint-Joseph), overlooking the Rhone. There is a "macération pelliculaire" of 10 to 12 hours followed by fermentation in barrique at low temperature. The wine ages for 9 months in barriques, 10% new. The wine shows a bright golden color and pretty floral aromas with peach, pear, hazelnut and honey. The palate is round and supple but nicely balanced in 2022 with peach, almond and mineral notes and a long ripe smoothly textured finish. Serve with asparagus, seared scallops, trout, white meats and Asian foods. 

  • white
  • 10 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic

Barou 2022 Saint-Joseph "Un Autre Monde"

Domaine Barou has been organic since the 1970s and also produces cherries, apricots and peaches. The Saint-Joseph vines are in Limony, on thin soils of decomposed granite over the bedrock. Shallow plowing ("griffage") is done in the summer, with rye and clover growing between the rows in winter. The grapes are 80% de-stemmed, fermentations are with wild yeasts, aging is primarily in old barrels. .The 2022 Saint-Joseph shows a deep black/red color with bright rim and gorgeous aromas of blackberry and blueberry liqueur with violet and earth, very floral and pretty. The palate shows a beautiful melange of red and black fruits - very lush, and supple and framed in perfect, bright acidity. The finish is soft and sapid and shows bright acidity, herbal and mineral flavors. This is absolutely delicious now but has the structure to age nicely for five to eight years. A sensational value and highly recommended! David Lillie

  • red
  • 11 in stock
  • $23.99

  • Organic

Rousset 2021 Crôzes-Hermitage Les Picaudières

Les Picaudières is perhaps the best vineyard in Crôzes-Hermitage, formerly owned by Raymond Roure and now tended by Stéphane Rousset. It's a steep slope of granite terraces, isolated in an oak forest facing due south and protected from the wind. (In the opinion of Livingston-Learmonth in "Wines of the Northern Rhône" wine from Les Picaudières is "certainly better" than many Hermitage from the eastern part of the hill.) The vines range from 20 to 80 years-old. The grapes are hand-harvested and mostly de-stemmed. The wine ages 16 months, 40% in foudre, 60% in burgundy barrels, 1 to 5 year-old. (no newer oak for the 2021)  In the Northern Rhône, this ranks near the top for bang for your buck, and for terroir expression. The 2021 shows a medium-dark red/garnet color with vivid aromas of black cherry and blackberry with violet, citrus, blueberry and game. The palate shows nice weight and density but remains bright and balanced at 13% alcohol with a core of earth and mineral flavors blending with the fruit - black cherry, blackberry, boysenberry. There is darker fruit with floral notes in the finish, ending with all earth and minerals. Classy and delicious now, but it should be really singing in ten years - as was a 2012 we drank last year. Serve very slightly cool and enjoy! David Lillie

  • red
  • 12 in stock
  • $28.99

Rousset 2021 Saint-Joseph

The 2021 Rousset Saint-Joseph is from a one-half hectare parcel of 35 to 70 year-old vines in "Les Rivoires" on the lower slope in Tournon, a cool, very steep, late-ripening terroir with clay, sand and stones over firm granite. Aged 12 months, 30% foudre, 70% 1 to 5 year-old barrels.This is prime Saint-Joseph terroir (the Gonons have vines in "Rivoires" as well) giving a dense well-structured wine that is enjoyable young, as most of the grapes are de-stemmed, and that will drink well over the next ten+ years. The 2021 vintage has produced a brighter more floral style than the 2020, with a nicely balanced 13% alcohol. We love the review in drinkrhone: "quite a dark red; this has a country style aroma, wild blackberry, licorice, black pepper, is genuine. The palate gives a cool stream of black cherry fruit, is tasty and natural, with appealing purity, feels hand made, and is silky, elegant on the finish. It’s very fine, very bonny, aromatic St Jo, the balance good - most joli it is."  Yes, most joli it is - quite delicious now, but put a few away to drink in 8 to 10 years as well.  David Lillie

  • red
  • 12 in stock
  • $26.99

Sorry, the Following have Already Sold

Navarre 2022 Vin de France Vin d'Oeillades Rosé

Thierry Navarre is one of the few people who still grow Oeillades - a nearly extinct grape that has a long history in the Langudedoc and is thought to be a cousin of Cinsault. Thierry's Oeillades grows on the rugged mountainsides above Roquebrun in Saint-Chinian. The 2020 shows an intriguing light orange/purple-tinged color in the glass. The nose offers abundant ripe  plum, red currant and peach aromas with delicate notes of lavender, cardamom and dried rose petals. The palate is light and wonderfully lifted with savory flavors  of dried cherry and red currant, very sapid and pure, with earth, herbal tea, and refreshing exotic citrus on the finish. This is an unusual and quite delicious rosé (with a bit of Ribeyrenc this year) with plenty of aromatic complexity and crunchy acidity to pair with a variety of dishes or to savor by itself - highly recommended!

  • Out of Stock
  • rosé
  • 0 in stock
  • $13.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Navarre 2020 Saint-Chinian Le Laouzil

Thierry Navarre's touchstone "Laouzil" is a blend of equal parts Grenache, Carignan, and Syrah from old vines planted on brown schist ("Laouzil" in the local dialect) soils in the rugged mountains of Roquebrun (Saint-Chinian). The grapes are de-stemmed and aged in neutral barrel before bottling with minimal sulfur. The robe is a lovely red/black in the glass. The wine shows seductive aromas of spiced plums, dried rosemary, and deeper notes of coffee and dry earth. The rich palate is bursting with black fruit flavors, peppercorn, and savory herbs with a structured texture of dense minerals and bright acidity on the long, persistent finish. This is a fascinating wine of terroir that Thierry says will be perfect in 5 years (though it's delicious now!)

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $16.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Barou 2022 VdP Collines Rhodaniennes Marsanne "Rendez-Vous"

The Barou family family makes delicious wines, and grows cherries and apricots on their mixed-use organic estate in Charnas, in the northern section of the AOC Saint-Joseph. Their 2022 Vin de Pays Marsanne is a simply superb everyday wine! Light bronze/gold color.  This needs a few minutes to open up, then shows bright aromas of pear and peach, almond, lime-flower, lemon peel, smoke and hay, really quite pretty. Ripe stone fruits on the palate, primarily peach and dried pear with lemon, spice and saline mineral flavors with refreshing acidity. Beautiful finish with white and yellow fruits and minerals. The 2022 is round and lush but nicely balanced  - serve this lovely wine as a superb aperitif or with chicken, full-flavored fish, mild cheeses and Asian foods. This is a unique and delicious wine and an extraordinary value - highly recommended! 

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $14.99

  • Organic

Barou 2022 Vin de Pays Collines Rhodanien Syrah "Petit Colorado"

The Barou Vin de Pays Syrah "Petit Colorado" is from 20 year-old vines grown on decomposed granite soils on the high plateau overlooking the Rhone, just above the AOC Saint-Joseph. "Dark red/purple color. Aromas of ripe cherry and blueberry with herbal, minty notes. Ripe and fresh on the palate with crunchy red fruits and discreet tannins. The wine is aerien. Drink within 2 to 3 years, serve with a charcuterie board or in summer, slightly chilled, as an accompaniment to grilled meats" says the Barou website. We say yummy, lush and delicious and a sensational value!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $13.99

  • Organic

Rousset 2021 Crozes-Hermitage Arrives 11/14

From hillside vineyards in Erome, Gervans and Crozes, mostly granite with some limestone/clay, average age 45 years, aged 30% in vat rather than wood in 2021 to preserve the fruit. This is no "ordinary" Crôzes-Hermitage, but a real wine of terroir from great vineyard sites, all on hillsides. Domaine Rousset is blessed with excellent terroir and the good sense to get that into the bottle with as little interference as possible. Redolent with black cherries, plums, wet earth and stony minerality, the palate follows through with dark chocolate covered cherries, blackberries and  tobacco leaf with bracing acidity and a long finish. This is lovely stuff and positively sings in concert with a plate of poulet aux olives, but a bit of saucisson or terrine wouldn’t suffer for this; and come to think of it, if you have a wild mushroom pasta recipe tucked away, this pretty Crôzes would offer good company indeed.

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $21.99

  • Organic

Gravillas 2021 Minervois Rendez vous Sur la Lune

The Clos du Gravillas Minervois "Sur La Lune" is a marriage of Carignan, Syrah and Cinsault on the lunar terroir of Cazelles. Vinified and aged in vats to give a tender and supple side. Deep and fresh at the same time, it smells of "garrigue." The wine shows a dark red/purple color with aromas of ripe berry fruits - black raspberry, blueberry - with citrus peel, floral notes, garrigue and licorice, really lovely. The palate is deep and ripe but nicely balanced with red and black fruits, minerals and firm acidity. Each grape contibutes beautifully to this classic Languedoc red that is not over-extrracted or tannic, that can accompany grilled meats, stews, tagines and full-flavored cheeses. Terrific wine and a great value. David Lillie

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Gravillas 2021 Vin de France A Fleur de Peau

 "Our orange wine is a dry macerated Muscat (3 to 4 weeks) which combines the notes of Earl Gray tea, orange blossom and apricot. Perfect with roasted squash or mushrooms accompanied by smoked bacon. Very interesting with an apricot tagine. Also goes well with full-flavored cheeses such as raclette, Mont d’Or, tartiflette," "One of the greatest dry muscats in the world" said Decanter magazine. The high praise is warranted, as it strikes a captivating balance of subtle fruit - think lychee, citrus peel, and pear - with delicate floral aromatics that suggest walking through a breezy meadow in full bloom. Then just when you think you have this wine pinned down you get a rush of chiseled minerality on the palate, a welcome twist that gives it lift and balance while still retaining its airy weightlessness. On the second day there was an added layer of complexity, with some honey and deeper apricot fruit peeking through. The acidity is in perfect balance and even on the third day it was still singing, suggesting some aging potential. While it's not a heavy, powerful orange wine, it's equally compelling as it seems to shift in the glass from sip to sip - definitely a bottle worth contemplating over.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $25.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Gravillas 2022 Vin de France Emmenez-Moi Au Bout du Terret

"A dry, light, original and refreshing white made with Terret Gris. We love this native Languedoc grape variety which thrives on our limestone soil on the Cazelles plateau. To reinforce its mineral side, it is vinified and aged in a sandstone egg and earthen amphoras. Rather floral aromas and marine iodine or ocean breeze with ripe pear and melon. The palate has more ocean spray and juicy fruit complemented with some savory garrigue. Perfect with shellfish, lean fish and lemon chicken... (of course there's a play on words here as "emmenez-moi au bout de la terre" is "take me to the end of the earth.")

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $18.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Gravillas 2022 Vin de France I'm ALIVE! (Claret)

The 2022 Clos du Gravillas "I'm Alive!" is a "claret" - a very light red, perfect for summer, made from Picpoul Blanc, Gris, Noir and Cinsault, co-fermented. The color is a light, bright vermillion red. Delicate high-toned aromas of raspberry, cranberry, citrus, rose and white pepper. Tart cherry, raspberry and citrus flavors on the palate with a hint of tannin and nice sappy length of cherry fruit. Really refreshing and delicious, and too easy to drink, perfect for a picnic on a hot day or with any light cuisine. Serve quite cool and enjoy!

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • Low Sulfur

Gravillas 2022 Vin de France Jour de Teuf Pet Nat

The Clos du Gravillas "Jour de Teuf" is a vibrant Pet-Nat mad from Muscat Petits Grains grown in the rocky limestone vineyards of the Haut Minervois. The grapes are picked a bit unripe, then bottled after an initial fermentation with about 17 grams/liter of residual sugar, which then ferments and finishes dry with beautiful sparkle. This is a joyous and lively pet-nat, a hazy straw in the glass with just a touch of sweetness balanced by vibrant acidity. There's some apple fruit and a hint of earth but endless refreshment. Upon tasting we were all in agreement that this would be a perfect aperitif, or an ideal "breakfast wine" for all you bibulous brunch lovers.

  • Out of Stock
  • white sparkling
  • 0 in stock
  • $19.99

  • Organic
  • Biodynamic
  • No Sulfur