The Mourvèdre dominated 2011 Faugères Valiniere (which incorporates a smidge of Syrah) is a full-bodied, big boned, layered and rich Faugères that needs bottle age. Giving up awesome blueberry, licorice, violets and spice, it hits the palate with serious concentration, lots of fruit and building underlying structure that comes through with time in the glass. This is a serious Faugères that deserves 2-4 years of bottle aged, and will drink nicely through 2026. Without a doubt, Didier Barral is one of the superstars of the Languedoc. Located in the Faugères AOC, in the tiny town of Cabrerolles, this estate covers roughly 30 hectares, all of which are farmed organically, and are planted primarily to Carignan, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. He produces three Faugères; a classic Faugères that’s a tank aged blend of mostly Carignan, with 20-30% each of Grenache and Cinsault; his Cuvee Jadis, which spends two years in new barrels and is made from mostly Carignan and Grenache; and his smallest production cuvee, the Faugères Valiniere, which is dominated by Mourvèdre and is aged in new barrels. These efforts never lack for depth or richness, have incredible characters, and show how good (and age worthy), the wines from this region can be. Don’t miss them!