BETTANE & DESSEAUVE 2011 : Appellation of the Year : TERRASSES DU LARZAC (Appellation de l’année)

by La Peira

Above: Terrasses du Larzac: BETTANE & DESSEAUVE’s French Appellation of the Year 2011

Terrasses du Larzac: BETTANE & DESSEAUVE’S French Appellation of the Year 2011

Respected French wine critics Michel Bettane and Thierry Desseauve have awarded the Terrasses du Larzac French Appellation of the Year in 2011.
A short (translated) quote follows below from the original text:

“A work of 30 years, the name of the Terrasses du Larzac was the product of the imagination of industry professionals, when deciding to distinguish certain terroirs of merit from the immense AOC Côteaux du Languedoc.

This type of decision is often dictated by political imperatives rather than real qualitative evidence. There is none of that here.

The geological fracture zone between the plateau of Larzac and the Mediterranean Sea, located north of the department of Hérault has a incredible potential – illustrated elsewhere in the late 1970s by a wine who never sought the AOC, the famous Daumas Gassac.

Now joined by other cult wines…this sector very much deserves a status apart.

A terroir. A real one.”

Andrew Jefford’s Terrasses du Larzac Articles in 2008/2009

It’s worth mentioning that Andrew Jefford was the first wine writer to go out on a limb – way back in 2008/2009 –  identifying the Terrasses du Larzac as an appellation of the highest order in the South of France; detailing some internal divisions; and even citing wines to consider (across a variety of price points).

Three excerpts below with links to original articles:

Andrew Jeford – Financial Times –  The Answer lies in the Soil  – Terrasses Du Larzac Article 2009

“What 2009 suggests, though, is that some of the greatest vineyard land in the south of France did indeed lie close to hand – but not exactly where the Mondavis thought it did. That land could, moreover, have been purchased by the Mondavis without any need to battle Guibert. The name to look out for is Terrasses du Larzac.” (Link)

Andrew Jefford – Decanter Magazine – “Enjoy the Languedoc – It won’t be here forever”  – 2009

“But where is the best spot in the Languedoc? I’ve treasured bottles from wild Corbières, plush La Clape, perfumed Pic St-Loup (brilliant for Syrah), chunky St-Chinian and mineral Faugères. The gravels and warmth of Pezenas have long sung in the wines of Prieuré de St-Jean de Bébian, and are now starting to do the same at Axa’s Mas Belles Eaux. Yet I now have a theory, which I’m going to enjoy spending the rest of my life putting to the test. My theory is that Terrasses du Larzac is the greatest spot in the Languedoc.” (Link)

Andrew Jefford – Rockyards and Stonejuice –  Herault & Terrasses du Larzac Article  – 2008

http://andrewjefford.com

“Where is the greatest terroir in Languedoc? You could make a case for Faugères, for Pic St Loup, for parts of St Chinian, for Minervois La Livinière, maybe for La Clape, but after my trip I have to say that if you were to write me out a cheque for a million euros and tell me to go to find somewhere to make great red wine, I would look most closely of all at Terrasses du Larzac.” (Link)