Baron de Badassière is from the Picpoul de Pinet region of the Languedoc, near the coast of the South of France. The name of the wine refers to the Badassière vineyard which lies near the small town of Pomerols. In the 18th century, the vineyard belonged to Baron Charles Emmanuel, a colourful character who was rumoured to be the illegitimate son of King Louis XV. The wines are made by New Zealand winemaker Graeme Paul, with consultant Matt Thomson, at the Cave de Pomerols cooperative. This region benefits from a sunny, warm climate which encourages ripe, fruity flavours in the wines, while the coastal breezes help retain freshness and aromatics.
The grapes for this wine come from selected vineyards, around the Etang de Thau and are planted on clay and limestone soils. Mild temperatures early in 2009, and very warm weather in August meant a ripe, fruit-forward vintage for the Languedoc. There was a danger of water stress, however, July rainfall prevented this and meant good vine balance, and uniform ripening. Dry weather at flowering time should have meant good yields, however, the previous four years of drought had lowered the vines‘ productivity and reduced quantities, particularly of whites. The vintage is being compared to the high-quality 2005, although tannins are more manageable in the reds this year, and there is more freshness.
The grapes arrived in the winery in the early morning and were macerated on the skins for a few hours, then pressed in the pneumatic press. The must was cold settled and then fermented at controlled temperatures of between 14-18°C for 16 days.
Pale with green tints, with fresh fruit aromas of citrus and some floralnotes, such as rose petal. It is refined and elegant on the palate, well balanced with a lemon/lime finish.