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2013 Languedoc Pic Saint Loup “Tour de Pierres”

Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup

2013 Languedoc Pic Saint Loup “Tour de Pierres” Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
The underrated Pic Saint Loup appellation has all the makings of a great terroir: Mediterranean climate, rocky limestone soils, and cool, high-altitude vineyard sites. It’s no surprise that Kermit has touted the area since his first tastings there, detecting significant possibilities for Syrah and Mourvèdre especially. Brothers Pierre, Jean-Marc, and Xavier Ravaille have made it their mission to harness this potential since founding Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup in 1992. They eschew herbicides in their vineyards, choosing instead to plow the soils and treat with biodynamic plant preparations. The focus is on a pure and natural expression of place, so fermentations are spontaneous, aging takes place in used foudres and barriques, and the wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered. This smoky, chewy blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre is a great example of what Pic Saint Loup can achieve in the right hands.

Anthony Lynch

$18.00
Vintage: 2013
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 50% Syrah, 40% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre
Appellation: Languedoc Pic Saint Loup
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Ermitage du Pic Saint Loup
Winemaker: Xavier, Pierre, and Jean-Marc Ravaille
Vineyard: 30 years, 8 ha
Soil: Red Clay
Aging: Aged in foudres and barriques for 12 months of which only 10-20% are new oak
Farming: Biodynamic (practicing)
Alcohol: 13.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Languedoc-Roussillon

Ask wine drinkers around the world, and the word “Languedoc” is sure to elicit mixed reactions. On the one hand, the region is still strongly tied to its past as a producer of cheap, insipid bulk wine in the eyes of many consumers. On the other hand, it is the source of countless great values providing affordable everyday pleasure, with an increasing number of higher-end wines capable of rivaling the best from other parts of France.

While there’s no denying the Languedoc’s checkered history, the last two decades have seen a noticeable shift to fine wine, with an emphasis on terroir. Ambitious growers have sought out vineyard sites with poor, well draining soils in hilly zones, curbed back on irrigation and the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and looked to balance traditional production methods with technological advancements to craft wines with elegance, balance, and a clear sense of place. Today, the overall quality and variety of wines being made in the Languedoc is as high as ever.

Shaped like a crescent hugging the Mediterranean coast, the region boasts an enormous variety of soil types and microclimates depending on elevation, exposition, and relative distance from the coastline and the cooler foothills farther inland. While the warm Mediterranean climate is conducive to the production of reds, there are world-class whites and rosés to be found as well, along with stunning dessert wines revered by connoisseurs for centuries.

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When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

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