A long march, a novel, a saga: there are many analogies for the slow emergence and differentiation over the past 40 years of Languedoc’s appellations.
That means that there are no clear climatic contrasts of the sort that distinguish Chablis from the Mâconnais, or Côte-Rôtie from Châteauneuf-du-Pape. All lie in ‘the Mediterranean zone’ – so differences between them in soil, climate and performance are a matter of nuance. With every year that passes, though, those nuances acquire more light and shade, and the personality of each appellation can be perceived more clearly.
Scroll down for Andrew Jefford’s Pic St-Loup tasting notes and scores
None, I would argue, more clearly than Pic St-Loup. Lean, clean, fragrant, vital and fresh: it’s the track athlete of the Languedoc.
Its wines are less rich, fruity and opulent than those of Minervois, La Clape or the limestone zones of St-Chinian. It has more homogeneity of terroir and hence style than the equally concentrated Terrasses du Larzac; it is less stony-sweet than Faugères or the schist zones of St-Chinian; but it’s also more distinctively Mediterranean and garrigue-scented than Cabardès or Malepère.
If Hermitage or Cornas could be said to have an authentic southern echo in the Languedoc, it would be somewhere in the beautifully lit stone fields that swirl and skirt the Pic.