Great value wine for the table that ticks all the boxes in terms of viticulture and vinification. A evenly-split blend of familiar grapes, all destemmed and co-fermented in stainless steel. The emphasis is on freshness and fruit, which is lovely and ripe and retains good acidity. There's a bit of all the grapes' key-characteristics coming through: savoury Malbec, herbaceous Cab Franc, red-fruited Merlot and plummy, spicy Cab Sauv. Throw them all together and you've got a belter of a wine around the £16 mark.
Vincent is an eighth-generation winemaker; joining his father in 2010, when he started the organic "project" at Barouillet - bottling their own wines rather than selling the grapes for bulk-blending. Organic conversion started with 6 hectares and since 2013 the entire estate has been organic. Forty percent of their production is sweet, with the rest a mix of red and dry white. They have 14 grape varieties planted and Vincent intends to keep re-planting old varieties until he is the first in the area to have all traditional permitted varieties.
The estate is split over three areas: Pomport, where the cellar is located – this is one of the highest plots in the area at ~180m; Pechament – 15km away, the top red "cru" of Bergerac and the only all-red appellation, where they have 6 hectares of Merlot, Cabernet France and Cabernet Sauvignon; and 12 hectares at Mescoules, 4km away from the cellar. In Pomport and Mescoules there is 10-40cm of clay topsoil and then limestone. Clay is good for hot weather due to water retention, and acidity in the wines is helped by the limestone. In Bergerac you need to work hard to keep acidity in the wines due to the warm, dry climate. In Pecharment soil is a mix of red clay, iron and silex. The flint rocks in the soil retain heat which helps the maturation of the grapes. The area is cooler than the rest of Bergerac and has more rain, therefore the harvest is later and the fruit is riper.