Grape(s): 80% Chardonnay, 15% Tressallier and 5% Sauvignon
Localization: Loire Valley, France
Tasting Notes: Very open and aromatic, the nose exhales scents of apricot, melted butter and oriental spices, where the woodiness is not absent. The mouth is fat, with a dense touch and comfort provided by the breeding. Undeniably a gastronomic wine.
Notes: The “lieu-dit” Quarteron” is associated with the land on which Denis and Monique live and where the winery is located. It was recently planted by Denis and a wide circle of friends most of whom not only helped prepare the land but also invested a small sum of money to pay for the plants. Denis Barbara produces his “Quarteron” cuvée from a blend of 80% Chardonnay, 15% Tressallier and 5% Sauvignon. The Tressallier vines, which are naturally quite productive, are pruned to 7 or 8 bunches per vine and yield an average of 30h per hectare. Fermentation and maturation is carried out is barrel. All of the wines remain on their lees until blending and bottling in the spring.
The Domain: The appellation of Saint-Pourçain is situated in the center of France, in the Allier department and is considered part of the Centre-Loire.This region is better known to wine professionals for its forests of prized oak trees used in barrel production than for its wines. The appellation, ranging approximately 5 kilometers in width and 30 kilometers in length, spreads throughout 19 communes with vineyards planted on a series of hillsides to the west of the Allier River. The history of vineyards in this area dates back to before the Romans, when the Phoenicians settled here and planted vines. In fact, they claimed to have civilized the barbarians with wine. During the 13th and 14th centuries the wines of Saint-Pourçain were highly esteemed. They traveled up to Paris via the Allier and Loire rivers and were favored by Popes, royalty and the aristocracy alike. By the end of the 18th century the vineyards of Saint-Pourçain covered more than 8,000 hectares. Today the vineyards total 600 hectares. The appellation received AOC status in 2009.
Denis Barbara farms several separate parcels of land totaling 8 hectares. Two thirds of his production is in red wine. He works alone except for the harvest and does much of the vineyard work by hand. He keeps his yields very low by bud pruning “ebourgeonnage” in the spring and green harvesting in the summer after “veraison”. He cultivates grasses between all the rows and does not use insecticides, pesticides or chemical fertilizer in his vineyards. All of his wines are fermented with indigenous yeasts.