La Peira 2013 Vintage: “In contrast to elsewhere in France, 2013 was a superb vintage in Languedoc-Roussillon”

by La Peira

La Peira 2013 Vintage image

La Peira 2013 Vintage

La Pèira Vintage 2013

A poor vintage in most of France, perhaps uniquely, in this region, 2013 was exceptional. “In contrast to elsewhere in France, 2013 was a superb vintage in Languedoc-Roussillon.” Decanter Magazine on the 2013 Vintage.

PDF of the Vintage (with Wine Reviews) here.

Cliquez ici pour le site français: La Pèira journal

If in Bordeaux, 2013 was one of the hardest vintages for 30 years; in Burgundy, the second growing season from hell in a row; and in the Rhône a tricky vintage as well – in our region the vintage has been reported to be as good as the best vintages of the 80s and the 90s, and a super year for Syrah. “Certainly the best vintage since 2001”, one grower opined, summarising the consensus view.

Jeb Dunnuck, of the Wine Advocate, concurred with growers and other observers in his 2014 overview of the vintage, stating:

“While the vast majority of France struggled in 2013 with cooler, rainy conditions, the perennial sunny Languedoc and Roussillon are on track to have a good, possibly exceptional vintage. A late harvest across the region, Jérémie Depierre of La Pèira calls the vintage “great” but atypical, and goes on to say that it “combines that delicacy and youthful feeling of finesse of the 2012 – but with more the frame and body of 2011 – or even a hint of the 2010.” Claude Fonquerle of L’Oustal Blanc also says that the vintage is atypical, but comments on the silkiness and high quality of the tannin. Anne Gros of Domaine Anne Gros calls the vintage great, going on to say that there was “late maturity with excellent acidity and moderate degrees (of alcohol).” She elaborates that the vintage is “one of precision, a touch of austerity, and in the future, great concentration? a great vintage … to keep!” (The Languedoc and Roussillon: 2011, 2012 and 2013 May 1, 2014).

The vintage in précis:

• A cold, wet spring
• A late Flowering in first & second week of June, several weeks behind schedule
• Moderate temperatures during the growing season and a cool summer
• A warm “Indian summer” at the end encouraged ripeness
• Glorious sunshine and warmth over the late-season of September and October at La Pèira allowed the harvesting of ripe grapes without the threat of rain, or rot

And the result? 

• Aromatic similarities to the cooler, more blue fruit and mineral-driven 2012s
• Fresh, lively and focused wines. But at La Pèira with a concentration, purity of fruit, with ample tannin.
• 2013 is perhaps a contrast to the recent richer vintages like 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010
• Bright acidities, yet with depth on the mid-palate and concentration

“In contrast to elsewhere in France, 2013 was a superb vintage in Languedoc-Roussillon.” Decanter Magazine on the 2013 Vintage

“In contrast to elsewhere in France, 2013 was
a superb vintage in Languedoc-Roussillon.”
Decanter Magazine on the 2013 Vintage

La Pèira 2013 – Terrasses Du Larzac

It was also a special vintage at La Pèira, as it was the penultimate vinified by Jérémie Depierre (2014 the last), and the first where we bottled a certain cuvée that we’ve spent 10 years preparing for (growing, planting, tresising, planning): the La Pèira blanc 2013.

La Pèira Blanc

Since the first vintage we’ve made the white, Deusyls (the white equivalent of the domaine’s second wine, Las Flors.)

From the beginning it was received well:

“This is one of the best white wines I have tasted from the Midi. It has texture, warmth and viscosity, a nose that evokes fennel, spring flowers, lemon, crushed chalk and a hint of tobacco” said Simon Field of its first vintage, the 2005.

10 years later, in 2015, we’ve finally got to the point where, with a lot of work and preparation we’re confident enough to bottle the La Pèira white. We’ve worked with the white varieties now for a decade; a decade of really intensive vineyard work and farming. Over that period we’ve planted more white varieties, starting off with Viognier and the Roussanne, and then we added Marsanne and Clairette Blanche and also Grenache blanc. There’s been a huge amount of work that’s happened on the white side – and also the red side in the same vein – at La Pèira in the last ten years. All of which is just now finding its way into the cuvées. We have continually improved our viticulture, the trellising and working of the vines with an ambitious white development programme, and the planting of additional red grape varieties and plots.

La Peira Blanc

La Peira Blanc

On the red front, we’ve had the planting Syrah in Bois de Pauliau in 2009 & 2012 – which is now just coming into its own, and new Grenache on the Pauliau plot in 2012, (both of which will hopefully enter the La Pèira cuvee at some point) along with the acquiring very exciting old plots of Carignan and Cinsault that we’ve have nursed and worked with over the last years. So really the white has now come on leaps and bounds. We’re also now in a position to look back and taste the 2005 and see how is that white – the Deusyls de la Pèira – is tasting after ten years. We intend to make the La Pèira blanc in the same spirit as the La Pèira red. (Where there the La Pèira white is the first wine and the Deusyls is the second white.) The new plantings and all the vineyard work has finally given us the confidence to make a La Pèira Blanc. And exciting possibilities in the years ahead on the red front.

Robert Dougan July, 2015

La Peira 2013

La Peira 2013

The Reviews

La Pèira 2013

“ Moving to their top cuvee, the 2013 Terrasses du Larzac La Pèira shows the purity and freshness of the vintage. Tasted out of barrel and a blend of mostly Syrah, with one-third Grenache, it exhibits impressive raspberry, cassis, violets (and assorted floral nuances), exotic spices and licorice to go with a medium to full-bodied, vibrant and decidedly elegant and fresh profile on the palate. As with the other 2013 barrel samples, I expect this to continue to gain weight and richness in barrel. Given the overall purity and balance, I imagine it will be reasonably approachable on release, yet benefit from short-term cellaring.”

Wine Advocate 95–97/100

Las Flors de la Peira 2013

Las Flors de la Peira 2013

Las Flors De La Pèira 2013

“ The 2013 Terrasses du Larzac Las Flors de La Pèira checks in as a blend of 50% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10–15% Mourvedre and the balance Cinsault and Carignan. Aged 18 months in a combination of small and larger barrels, 15–20% being new, it is a pretty, perfumed and elegant rendition of the cuvee that exhibits plenty of strawberry, raspberry, lilac and exotic spices to go with a medium-bodied, energetic feel on the palate. Juicy and decidedly fresh, it should continue to gain weight in barrel and flesh out once bottled.”

Wine Advocate 91–94/100

Obriers de la Peira 2014

Obriers de la Peira 2014

Obriers De La Pèira 2014

“Then there is also what might be regarded as a third wine, Les Obriers de la Pèira, that retails at around £17 a bottle (see my tasting notes on a wide array of vintages with an average score of around 16 or 16.5).”

Jancis Robinson

“ Gorgeous blueberry, blackberry and raspberry notes jump from the glass of this elegant, pure, medium-bodied wine that has exceptional fragrance at this price point, excellent concentration and nice texture and overall equilibrium. This is a beauty that’s quite Burgundian in style and very pure. Drink it over the next 2–3 years.”

Wine Advocate, 90/100

Inaugural Release of the La Pèira Blanc

Inaugural Release of the La Pèira Blanc

Inaugural Release of the La Pèira Blan

La Pèira Blanc

We’re excited to announce the release of the La Pèira blanc 2013. This is the first release of this cuvée, and there’s only 500 bottles, so we may follow this up with the release of the La Pèira blanc 2014.

As mentioned, we’ve bottled a second white, the Deusyls de la Pèira, since 2005, and from the first, the critical response was exceptional:

“This is one of the best white wines I have tasted from the Midi.” Simon Field MW BBR & The World of Fine Wine –

“Like a lovely Northern Rhône white. Really exciting and good.” Jancis Robinson on the same 2005 Deusyls vintage

“The rare white from La Pèira is surprising even its creators with its excellence and stamina, and new plantings have recently gone in of Roussanne as well as some Marsanne.” David Schildknecht Wine Advocate & The World of Fine Wine.

Since then, we’ve learnt more about the background of the white varieties at La Pèira, as this interview with Jancis Robinson for her article La Pèira vertical and other Languedoc treasures relates:

“Oddly for this region, La Pèira’s Bois de Pauliau vineyard has been designated AOC for over half a century, as the most northerly of the two zones of the Clairette du Languedoc AOC (1948). Near La Pèira, and still in the Clairette AOC, France’s earliest known winery (10 AD) was discovered in 2007. Indeed, the first mention of French wine in literature as being of significant merit is found in Pliny’s Natural History (77–79 AD) in which the white wines of Baeterrae [Béziers] nearby are cited as worthy of note (alongside the resinous reds of Vienne). (Béziers is situated on a vast plain of quaternary alluvium that follows two seams northward along the Orb river toward St-Chinian and along the Hérault river toward the Terrasses du Larzac).”

Inspired by this history of white wine production, we’ve planted Clairette, alongside Marsanne, Roussanne in 2009, and further Roussanne and Grenache blanc in 2013.

The La Pèira blanc cuvee is a blend of Roussanne, Marsanne, Viognier. Roussanne, of course, along with Marsanne, comprise the great Hermitage whites, with the Viognier grape comprising the wines of Condrieu.

The first of these plantings are coming on board. And this, alongside the vineyard work, and the encouraging tastings of the Deusyls 2005 and other vintages over the last 10 years has led to the development of the La Pèira blanc (albeit in limited availability).

Jancis Robinson on La Pèira Vertical and other Languedoc Treasures

Jancis Robinson on La Pèira Vertical and other Languedoc Treasures

La Peira

La Peira