Combining the ripeness of the South of France with the structure of the Atlantic coast, this is a stunning wine made from just one grape variety, the much admired and loved Petit Verdot. Green nuances are often the negative point of this variety, but here, it ripens perfectly year in and year out! Here, we're left with dark plum, black cherry and oodles of blackberry, damson and quince. It is a really well-structured and has supporting acidity but not too much; with a medium-full body it really is a wine to be excited by. Very much a new-staple in our store cupboard.
Jérome Vic is the fifth generation wine maker in this privileged part of the Languedoc. Between the mountains and the sea, close to Béziers, the climatic influences of the Mediterranean Sea are balanced by the warmth of the continental European landmass, with the high altitude of the Haut-Languedoc mountains. It's a region that produces an embarrassingly large volume of wine each year, much of which goes into the production of industrial alcohol and associated products such as hand sanitiser and turpentine... However, in the right regions and in the right hands, growers can see beyond the mundane and reach the potential quality that this region can achieve. Jérome is married to Aurélie and the pair have championed their winery by focusing on potential, yes, but also on the absolute reality that is their raw material.
Using neither pesticides nor, more importantly, herbicides, they have been practicing organic principles for decades and this is singularly the most important guiding light in their philosophy. Clearly it is their vineyard approach that gives them such generous and consistent grapes: but that only leads the horse to water, so to speak... Their winery practices are similarly bound by self-imposed structures - the difference being that while the vineyards require constant, intense manual labour, the wine-making process is almost entirely hands-off. Natural indigenous yeasts, slow ferments, minimal intervention and almost zero additional sulphur (SO2) make these some of the most approachable and delightfully fruity 'natural' wines that we have come across.
They haven't certified the wines as organic (though clearly the lack of vineyard treatments more than qualifies them to do so), but have aligned themselves to an alternative body that prizes sustainability in all methods of food and drink production, which is called QUALENVI. Unaware of anyone else that does this, it is challenging to say "ah ha, that's why they taste like this" , but it is absolutely clear that they do something right that results in wines that are fresh, clear and tasty with no suggestion of commercial over-production. The rest of the Languedoc should take note...
Grape(s): Petit Verdot
Style: Vibrant, Sustainable, Structured, Smooth, Round, Organic, Medium Full, Meditation, Juicy, Fruity, Fleshy, Dry, Dark, Broad, Bright, Balanced
Best food matches: Venison, Tapas, Steak, Sausages, Roasts, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Pizza, Pasta, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef