Pic Saint-Loup Wine
Sixteen years ago we hot-footed it to the Languedoc hoping to secure an allocation of a Saint-Chinian that had impressed us. For various reasons it did not come to pass but we did have time to make an unscheduled visit to Mas Bruguière. Our inaugural tasting with Guilhem Bruguière was a resounding success and we placed our first order on the spot. Guilhem's son Xavier took over the estate in 2007 and converted all their vine holdings to organic viticulture with impressive results. His red cuvée 'L'Arbouse' is made from a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Grenache Noir that are vinified in oak and concrete vats for 12 months before fastidious blending. It is approachable from release and cellars well for 3-5 years. It has a beguiling briary bouquet and complex palate redolent of ripe garrigue berries, wild herbs and sun-baked stones. It is certainly well made and has a strong sense of its remarkable terroir but there is also an untamed wildness and vitality; a mineral streak beneath its fine-grained tannins that draws you back time and again.
White wines from the elevated limestone vineyards above Montpellier have improved immeasurably in the 21st Century as is clearly illustrated by Xavier's terrific 'Mûriers' that is made from a blend of 80% Vermentino and 20% Roussanne that are vinified for 10 months in vat (80%) and barrel (20%) before bottling. It has uplifting mirabelle and white peach scents and a succulent stone fruit palate offset by fresh acidity.