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Terrasses du Larzac – Hip Southern French Reds

One of the most exciting wine regions in France right now is Terrasses du Larzac. Newly minted with appellation status in 2014, the area is distinguished for its unique climate that benefits from both the warm Mediterranean sea and the cool air that blows down from the Larzac plateau on summer nights, creating wines that are fresh, yet delicate, with silky tannins, and the earthy garrigue aromas characteristic of the Languedoc. It’s a region that can be described as something like a marriage of the ripeness of Southern Rhône with the energy of Northern Rhône.

Many young and talented winemakers are flocking here to take advantage of this region — capable of producing some of the best wines in the Languedoc — while the real estate remains affordable. We have already featured two domaines receiving accolades in Jean-Baptiste Granier of Les Vignes Oubliées and the couple Vincent and Sophie Guizard of Domaine Saint Sylvestre.

Another winemaking couple on the rise are Béatrice and Sébastien Fillon of Le Clos du Serres. In 2006 they purchased 37 acres divided into 15 parcels near the town of Saint Jean de la Blaquière, the only area in the Terrasses du Larzac where schist is to be found. The diversity of the soil across all of their parcels includes schist, sandstone, pebbles & shingle, and red ruffes (deep deposits of sandstone accumulated some 265 million years ago and exposed by erosion). It is this range of terroir that gives their wines a character all their own.

The vineyards are cultivated organically and all parcels are harvested and vinified separately to maintain each of the parcel’s distinct qualities. This meticulous raising and handling of the fruit is key to the quality of the wines of Le Clos du Serres and will ensure their steady ascent.

Le Clos du Serres “Saint-Jean” (Terrasses du Larzac 2015)
Special 6-pack Price: $129 ($22/bottle)

“Saint-Jean” is a blend of 25% each Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Oeillade (a grape indigenous to the Languedoc and close to extinction). It’s a wine that expresses all the terroir the village has to offer, coming from plots of schist, sandstone, pebbles and ruffes. After maturation for 12 months in concrete vats the result is a wine that is luscious with fruit but balanced, with floral, spice, and red berry aromatics.

Le Clos du Serres “Les Maros” (Terrasses du Larzac 2015)
Special 6-pack Price: $167 ($28/bottle)

“Les Maros” is a single parcel of schist west of the village. The wine is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Cinsault, and 20% Carignan from the coolest vineyard area of the estate. Although the wine is matured for 12 months in concrete vats like the “Saint-Jean” it is weightier and more concentrated. The flavors tend toward black fruit and licorice with a mouth-filling texture and lengthy finish.

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Posted on 2017.12.14 in France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Saturday Sips

 

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