Pic Saint-Loup Wine
Although deserving of an appellation in their own right, the vineyards of Pic Saint-Loup are officially a humble cru of the Coteaux du Languedoc. What they lack in official status however, they more than repay in the glass as this enclave of some 500 hectares of vines that abut the twin escarpments of the Montagne de l'Hortus and the Pic itself, some 20 kilometres North of Montpellier, has an ideal climate and terroir for viticulture and is home to skilled wine-makers. We've been importing the wines from the Bruguière family's 'Mas Bruguière' for over a decade now and they're going from strength to strength and are now all certified as organic.
Their white 'Les Mûriers' (which is bottled as an AOC Languedoc as there are no white wines permitted in the Pic Saint-Loup classification) is made from a blend of 70% Marsanne, 20% Roussanne and 10% Vermentino that are grown on limestone and clay soils in the coolest, most northerly plots. It has alluring bouquet of ripe yellow plums, a rounded, stone-fruit palate with hints of citrus and minerals giving an elegant, dry finish. Patron Xavier Brugière recommends serving it with a spelt risotto with girolles mushrooms or a grilled veal chop with braised fennel – typically precise suggestions from a man who clearly pays attention to detail. His principal red, in volume terms, is called 'L'Arbouse' and is made from 60% Grenache Noir and 40% Syrah that are raised in concrete and oak vats for 12 months before blending and bottling. The finished wine has a lovely dark robe, intense garrigue berry and wild herb scents and a core of concentrated black fruit over a background of supple tannins. It drinks very well on its youthful fruit but will readily support 5-7 years bottle age. A senior sibling called 'La Grenadière' is blended from 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 20% Mourvèdre that have a longer 18 month élevage in vat and French oak demi-muid barrels. It has complex aromas and flavours of wild berries, herbs and spices and a dense tannic structure and fresh acidity that will age well for at least a decade. It deserves decanting and will stand up well to slow-cooked casseroles of beef or game.