Domaine de Barroubio occupies most of a hamlet above the sleepy village of Saint-Jean-de-Minervois was one of the first domains we visited on discovering the Languedoc back in 1993. It was to seek out the elegant floral and citrus vins doux naturel Muscat we had enjoyed in a restaurant. It’s always been our preferred style of the region’s sweet Muscat – more grapes than raisons and a bit racier.
It was on later visits that we were introduced to Barroubio’s reds from vineyards lower down the slopes. The basic Minervois is a Cariginan, Syrah and Grenache blend that's rounded, fruity, balanced and fine easy drinking. Available fairly widely from cavistes and at just 5 € it’s one of our reliable everyday drinking staples.
The Cuvée Marie Therese is 75% Syrah and 25% Granache and spends a year in large oak barriques. We’ve been drinking the 2000 in the UK over the past three or so years having filled our boots through irresistible bin-end offers. The colour is full garnet red that offers a soft fruit raspberry aroma with fresh thyme and a hint of liquorice and cherry. It tastes as it smells with a supple mouth feel and gentle finish and is not too heavy. In its youth it had a more defined structure with handbag leathers, more spice, and a lot less raspberry which is the surprising character of what is now a fully mature wine that will soon decline. The 2006 is around 9,50 €.
There's a third highly regarded red of mainly old vine Carignan, Cuvée Jean Miquel that for some reason I’ve never tasted. Raymond is the current winemaker from the Miquel family who have been at Barroubio for many generations.
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