Meet the Producer
A family-run domaine named after La Maronne Beauregard. Alphonse and Claude Barqueros live on the outskirts of Sablet, on the road leading to Gigondas. Like many domaines in the southern Rhone valley, the family have vineyards dotted over both hillsides with some in the plains below too. The domaine was started in 2002 and we (Boutinot) have been buying their grapes since our first release in the 2004 vintage.
Prior to 2002, there were a few rows of family vines but the first major plantations were in 1956 by Claude’s grandfather, Marcel Bernard, who planted vines after the crop failure cause by severe frosts of February 1956 which killed off many of his olive groves.
With Grenache vines (some over 50 years old) predominating, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre, it's the Mourvedre element that is slowly increasing its percentage in the blend vs Syrah.
About the Winemaker
Eric joined Boutinot in 2005 and was then responsible for managing all the wines that we were producing from the Rhône, Languedoc and Gascony. Today he is in charge of leading all of our winemakers wherever they are in the world; the downside is he doesn’t personally get involved in as many wines as he once did but as he says, “my job is to make myself unemployed by employing people that do it better than me”.
Eric’s career began at the University of Besancon where he completed a degree in physics, chemistry and biology. This led to a research project on the detection of wine fraud using nuclear magnetic resonance (RMN). On completing this project Eric discovered a passion for wine and went on to achieve a master’s degree in Oenology at the University of Reims; during which time he worked as a viticulturalist. Staying in Reims he joined Champagne House Louis Roederer and was responsible for the pressing and assisted with the vinification of the 1996 vintage.
Eric then moved south to Burgundy (Champagne was “too cold for me”!), working for Bouchard Père et Fils in Beaune and William Fèvre in Chablis. Here Eric was deeply involved in the vinification process of wines from the North to the South of Burgundy, including Beaujolais, Côtes de Beaune, Côtes de Nuits, and Chablis which he describes as “a fantastic period during which I discovered some of the best wines of Burgundy throughout their élevage, dealing with most of the Grand Crus”.
In 1999 Eric became the Quality Manager of Group Schenk in Beaune, establishing quality systems for bottling and vinification plants. Three years later he became the winemaker at the 10-hectare Domaine Henri de Villamont in Savigny Les Beaune, where he was responsible for managing the harvest, vinification and blending of the wines. After six fulfilling years there he joined Boutinot and the rest as they say, “is history”.
Never one to live life in the slow lane, on the weekends Eric loves to spend time with his wife and three children, or as the children get older, “the fourth child” – his Harley Davidson!