La Pèira: Languedoc, France (Terrasses du Larzac)
La Peira is a small 11.4 hectare domain located in the well drained limestone gravels of Les Terrasses du Larzac, at Saint Saturnin in the Herault department in Languedoc. The domain is owned by expatriate Australian composer Rob Dougan and his French Mauritian wife Karine Ahton (a lawyer who grew up near Montpellier). The wines are made by Jeremie Depierre and the consultant oenologist is Claude Gros, who consults to many of the regions top producers. Only estate grown fruit is used coming from 10-40 year old vines. Intensive work is done in the vineyards and the soil is worked manually to produce tiny yields (8-20hl/ha depending on the wine and vintage). Quantities of all wines here are by definition very limited with just 300 cases produced of the Grand vin, La Peira and only 500 cases of the second wine Las Flores de la Peira and fewer than 100 cases of the white blend.
Varieties cultivated include the indigenous varieties of Cinsault and Carignan together with Grenache and Syrah for the top wines, and Viognier and Roussanne for the white wine. Winemaking is done with a light touch so only a small proportion of new 500 and 600L barrels for the cuvees containing Syrah and Mourvedre, with the Carignan and Cinsault cuvees being aged in tank or larger oak. The aim is to preserve the freshness and purity of each wine with as little interference as possible so there is minimal racking and no fining or filtering.
“Easily one of the top wines of the region (and I’ll gladly include all of the southern Rhone in that comparison).” The Rhone Report – Jeb Dunnuck
2013 Deusyls de la Pèira Blanc
A blend of Roussanne and Viognier. “The 2013 Deusyls de La Peira Blanc, which was tasted out of barrel, is a blend of 55% Roussanne, 40% Viognier and 5% Marsanne that’s aging all in smaller barrels. Offering up gorgeous apple, citrus blossom and ample minerality in its medium-bodied, fresh and pure profile, it has both freshness and richness, with beautiful length. Enjoy it over the coming 3-5 years. 92-94.” The Rhone Report Jeb Dunnuck – April 2014
2012 Les Obriers de la Pèira
Made from a blend of Cinsault and Carignan, aged in large wood. “It’s a kind of liqueur of the garrigue” Andrew Jefford
“The 2012 Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac Les Obriers offers fabulous Cinsault character and shows how interesting this variety can be when done right. Incredibly floral and perfumed, with sweet blackberry, violets, lilacs and exotic spices, this medium-bodied, elegant and silky effort builds on the palate, shows notable freshness and a pure, hard-to-resist feel. I’d drink it over the coming 4-5 years, but it will evolve for longer.” The Wine Advocate Jeb Dunnuck – April ‘14
2011 Las Flors de la Pèira
55% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault that wqs aged in 25% new French oak.
“Tasted out of bottle, the 2011 Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac Las Flors de La Peira is gorgeous. Kirsch, graphite, licorice, spice box and cured meats are just some of the nuances here, and it hits the palate with medium to full-bodied richness and depth. Still showing a kiss of oak, give it another year in bottle and drink it over the following 8-10 years. 93 pts.” The Wine Advocate Jeb Dunnuck – April ‘14
2011 Matissat La Pèira “Les terrasses du Larzac” Rouge 100% Mouvedre
“Blockbuster stuff, with massive kirsch, licorice, spiced meats and graphite aromas and flavors, this puppy hits the palate with a massive core of fruit, full-bodied concentration and depth, and a rock star finish. Approachable now given its exuberant personality, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it still drinking beautifully at age 20″ 95 pts. Wine Advocate Jeb Dunnuck – April ‘14
2010 La Pèira “Les terrasses du Larzac” Rouge 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache and aged in 60% new French oak.
“The 2011 Coteaux du Languedoc Terrasses du Larzac La Peira has fabulous richness and depth, with exuberant kirsch, cassis, dried earth, ground herbs and licorice-styled aromas and flavors. Despite all of the fruit and texture, it has considerable depth and concentration, and builds on the palate with fine tannin.” 96 pts. The Wine Advocate Jeb Dunnuck – April ‘14
“Wines that need not fear comparison with any of the worlds wine icons.” The Wine Advocate
“It has slowly become evident to me that many of the greatest Languedoc wines I have tasted come from this area [Terrasses du Larzac]. In fact just yesterday I did a vertical tasting of the wines of La Pèira, from the first 2005 vintage through to 2010 in bottle and 2011 from tank. They were shockingly, shatteringly good; it’s a long while since I have tasted wines which were quite that exciting from any region. It’s a jaw-dropping prospect for the future.” Andrew Jefford – April 2013