You can spend years traversing the backwaters of viticultural France trying to engage with the finest wine growers without success and sometimes you just get lucky. In 2014 we picked up a copy of Decanter magazine that featured the results of an exhaustive blind tasting of wines from the Languedoc presided over by Andrew Jefford. The most highly-rated wine was the 2010 vintage of Saint-Chinian 'Les Truffières' made by Jean Lacugue that was clearly denoted as having no shipper in the UK. A hasty phone call secured a meeting and tasting in London, whereupon orders were taken, hands were shaken and the rest is history.
A serendipitous discovery during that first tentative encounter was that Jean also made a more forward drinking (and cheaper) wine - called 'Cuvée Magali' – that we could ship in larger volumes and sell to restaurants. It is made from a blend of Syrah, Grenache Noir and Carignan that is grown on limestone and red clay soils and has a wealth of forest fruit scents and flavours with hints of kirsch and fennel alongside fondant tannins that have softened with bottle age. The aforementioned 'Les Truffières' is made from a blend of 77% Syrah and 23% Grenache Noir and has alluring wild herb and black fruit scents, a rich core of blackcurrant and dark cherry fruit, spicy undertones and enough tannic grip to support 10-15 years in the cellar.