Variety: 40% Grenache, 60% Syrah
Country Region: France, Languedoc, Terrasses du Larzac
Appellation: Coteaux du Languedoc
'A hidden little gem, the 2008 Terrasses du Larzac la Peira offers a savory, complex, full-bodied, elegant style that shines in the vintage, and in fact, it might be one of the best wines from the south of France in the vintage. Giving up a terrific perfume of peppery herbs (there's that classic Languedoc resinous scrub brush character), black fruits, truffle and crushed rock, it has beautiful mid-palate concentration, sound underlying structure and an impeccably balanced, age-worthy, lengthy feel. It shows incredible freshness and purity today, but will keep easily through 2026. It's certainly not one of the most exuberant vintages here, yet it shows incredible class. Drink 2016-2026.' 95 points, Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate, June 2016.
'One of reference point producers in the Languedoc, and in my view, easily one of the top estates in all of France.' Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate, April 2014.
La Pèira is a small 11.4 hectare domain located in the well drained limestone gravels of Les Terrasses du Larzac, at Saint Saturnin in the Herault department in Languedoc. The domain is owned by expatriate Australian composer Rob Dougan and his French Mauritian wife Karine Ahton (a lawyer who grew up near Montpellier). The wines are made by Jeremie Depierre and the consultant oenologist is Claude Gros, who consults to many of the regions top producers. Only estate grown fruit is used coming from 10-40 year old vines. Intensive work is done in the vineyards and the soil is worked manually to produce tiny yields (8-20hl/ha depending on the wine and vintage). Quantities of all wines here are by definition very limited with just 300 cases produced of the Grand vin, La Peira and only 500 cases of the second wine Las Flores de la Peira and fewer than 100 cases of the white blend.
Varieties cultivated include the indigenous varieties of Cinsault and Carignan together with Grenache and Syrah for the top wines, and Viognier and Roussanne for the white wine. Winemaking is done with a light touch so only a small proportion of new 500 and 600L barrels for the cuvees containing Syrah and Mourvedre, with the Carignan and Cinsault cuvees being aged in tank or larger oak. The aim is to preserve the freshness and purity of each wine with as little interference as possible so there is minimal racking and no fining or filtering.
'It has slowly become evident to me that many of the greatest Languedoc wines I have tasted come from this area [Terrasses du Larzac]. In fact just yesterday I did a vertical tasting of the wines of La Pèira, from the first 2005 vintage through to 2010 in bottle and 2011 from tank. They were shockingly, shatteringly good; it's a long while since I have tasted wines which were quite that exciting from any region. It's a jaw-dropping prospect for the future.' Andrew Jefford, April 2013.