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2020 Pic Saint Loup “Guilhem Gaucelm”

Héritage du Pic Saint Loup
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The Ravaille brothers’ top cuvée is composed of their oldest vines and is named for the first known steward of this land, Guilhem Gaucelm, a sharecropper of the Comte de Maguelone in the thirteenth century. Evoking dark fruit, leather, and spice, this southern French rouge delivers a palate-full of earthy complexity wrapped in an incredibly smooth texture. Rhône Valley, look out!

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Technical Information
Wine Type: red
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 50% Syrah, 50% Grenache
Appellation: Pic Saint Loup
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Héritage du Pic Saint Loup
Vineyard: 2 ha, 85 years
Soil: White clay, round stones
Farming: Biodynamic (practicing)
Alcohol: 14.5%

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About The Region

Languedoc-Roussillon

map of 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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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

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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