There were rumors about this wine flying around for a number of years. It existed, it was great but Didier Barral was unsure about exporting it. When it appeared on a sale sheet and was available for sampling, we couldn’t say no. And we are glad we didn’t- it’s a fascinating savory and wonderful experience, a rare white wine from the Languedoc made by a esteemed producer.
Terret is one of the ancient grapes of the Rhône, originating in the Hérault department. The Terret Noir is one of the allowed grapes in Chateauneuf-du-Pape but in my experience I can only recall one producer (Château Beaurenard) using it, and this really was more for sentimental reasons, as it still was cultivated in the plot they call Boisrenard in honor of their Grandfather.
The white I have never heard of being used, nor in my years of tasting can I recall any wine who included it in its blend. Didier Barral of Domaine Leon Barral in Faugères, in the Central Languedoc, has refused to replant his ancient vineyard of Terret Blanc, but instead makes this rare wine each year, and it has finally arrived in Chicago. This is definitely in the natural wine camp, made without sulfur, in a intentionally (but only) slightly oxidative state, yet still maintains freshness and vibrancy.
Leon Barral Blanc Vin De Franc $49.99/BTL.
11 Bottles Available