What a great concept – a Tour of the South of France – get out the vélo and let’s join the touriste-routiers. But why be part of the peloton when you can attack from the front, and make wine which really matters and offer wine lovers liberté de choix? Hence, among the delights on offer here is a beautiful Picpoul de Pinet – the fish wine – a vivacious Grenache Blanc/Sauvignon Blanc blend and a quite beautiful and unusual Grenache/ Pinot Noir blend.
2019 marks a return to a more Mediterranean profile than the previous year. There was less rain than in 2018; the rain fell mainly in autumn and winter, with a marked absence during the summer which experienced a series of heatwaves. Managing the water levels was a key issue in the vineyards. The vines were in excellent health at harvest and the grapes reached good levels of maturity.
The fruit is sourced from carefully selected vineyards in the Pays d’Oc. The Pays d’Oc area has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters, with the majority of rainfall occurring during the spring and autumn. Dry, continental winds from the north west bring cooling influences to the vineyards, which help to reduce disease pressure. This wind is interspersed with warm winds from the south, which bring moisture to the vines. Each vineyard site has its own terroir characteristics which add subtle complexity to the resulting wine.
The grapes were harvested once they had reached the perfect maturity levels. They were pressed immediately and the must was fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks to prevent any oxidation of the pure Viognier flavours. The wine did not go through a malolactic conversion and as a result the wine is pure, fresh and full of typical Viognier aromatics.
The key with Viognier – one of the statement grapes of the South of France – is balance; this wine has a lovely acidity which complements the richness of the body to produce a wine of poise and balance.