Our first attempt to source a Saint-Chinian, back in 2004, ended up with us shipping the Bruguière family's magnificent Pic Saint-Loup instead, which wasn't a bad consolation prize. After kissing quite a few frogs over the ensuing nine years we serendipitously spotted that Jean Lacugue's Saint-Chinian 'Les Truffières' had been rated as 'Outstanding' by Decanter magazine but lacked a U.K. importer. A hasty phone call secured a meeting with Jean and, happily, we concurred with their verdict and managed to secure a generous allocation to boot. Today the wines of Château Milhau-Lacugue enjoy great support on these shores so it was worth the wait.
Jean's principal wine in terms of volume is his 'Cuvée Magali' that is made from a blend of Syrah, Grenache Noir and Carignan in roughly equal volumes. At the time of writing we have just managed to ship another consignment of the cracking 2013 vintage which has ample bottle age for a relatively petit prix. Writing in the Spectator, Jonathan Ray did a pretty good job of explaining the wine's appeal: "It has an enticing herbal, garrigue-like bouquet, buckets of ripe, red and dark berry fruit, peppery undertones and a fresh, succulent finish."
The aforementioned 'Les Truffières' is a blend of 77% Syrah and 23% Grenache Noir and has much the same wild berry and herb characteristics that imbue the region's best wines but it is denser and more concentrated with enough tannic grip to support at least a decade in the cellar.