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La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1)

La Pèira 2018 vintage

It’s been 15 years since our first harvest at La Pèira. So, this year, as well as introducing the 2018 vintage, we thought to take stock. The goal from the beginning was to be equal in vineyard practices as any of France’s finest, but to allow the wine to be very different – even unafraid – in terms of what it expressed. In short: to be uncompromisingly focused on quality, but to allow nature to determine the characteristics of the wine to express a sense of place.

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira

Along the way there have been kind comments about the quality of La Pèira:

“Easily one of the top estates in all of France”, wrote Jeb Dunnock in the Wine Advocate
“Make no mistake about it, this is a very special wine made on a very special estate” : Jancis Robinson
“A range of wines of striking depth and originality yet great truth to place, too” : Andrew Jefford – Financial Times

La Pèira has been mentioned as “Southern France’s First Growth”.

The chart below looking at vintages 2005-2015 (our first decade) bears that out. But we are still beginning when it comes to discovering the qualities of our place. Thank you for your continued support and interest in going along with us on that journey.

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira

Preamble and contents – La Pèira 2018 vintage

We were delighted to participate in Meininger’s FINEST 100 at the end of 2019. 100 of the world’s best wine producers and 100 of the most prestigious sommeliers from Germany are chosen to join this international summit alongside alongside 100 of the best wine merchants from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. La Pèira presented alongside producers such as Krug, Pichon-Longueville-Comtesse de Lalande, Gaja, López De Heredia, Conterno Giacomo, Biondi Santi, Ridge Vineyards. We were kindly hosted by Albert Kierdorf, famed for working with many of the world’s finest estates – not the least of which, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. More about the vintage including our extraordinary 2018 bottling of Las Flors, where to mark this new era for the blend we have we have decided to christen the vintage 2ÈME. Finally the whites at La Pèira and the reporting of Jancis Robinson are mention within.

Full La Pèira 2018 Presentation PDF

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira

The news at La Pèira is that the 2018 (alongside the 2019) is excellent. Yet not without challenges. As Decanter Magazine in its November 19, 2018 article, Languedoc-Roussillon’s eventful year, reported:

“Mildew losses at La Pèira were 30%… while 35% were lost to mildew at Mas de Daumas Gassac”.

Some areas even suffered devastating floods in October and November. Yet as the article goes on: “The consolation was that quality, after a warm summer, was excellent: ‘the best we’ve ever made,’ according to Nicolas Raffy [Mas Amiel]”.

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira

One exciting piece of news is that, with the 2018 blend, the Las Flors cuvee has reached new heights. With the maturity of vineyards planted years ago, we found in 2018 we really could take a leap in terms of Las Flors, delivering that wonderfully approachable and supple experience of a second wine while at the same time progressing ahead in terms of quality.
And so, this standout 2018 vintage has a name: 2ÈME. In our last vintage report, we noted how our partner in Belgium, the famed Young Charly, discovered that La Pèira had outperformed almost all of Bordeaux’s five First Growths over the decade 2005-2015 (See pages 4-7 in this report).

Likewise, our commitment and work with the Las Flors de la Pèira vineyard can be seen in the fact it has outperformed France’s greatest second wines in the years 2005-2017 as per Wine Advocate reviews over the period 2005-2017 (see pages 15-21).
Despite this, we still felt we could do better. And the 2018 and 2019 Las Flors may be in style and quality the greatest blends of the cuvee.

We’ve also exciting news of the Obriers. And Jancis Robinson reports on the white Deusyls de la Pèira 2008 (after 12 years in bottle) and others:

“Lovely to taste an old white wine that has not lost its fruit. This promises rather well for Terrasses du Larzac whites…”

Thank you for your support which has made this ongoing improvement possible.

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira

The Two Faces Of The 2018 Vintage

Janus, the Roman two-faced deity (one looking to the past, one to the future) was said to be the god of beginnings, of doorways, duality, passages, frames, and endings. For much of the first-half of 2018 it felt like a door was closing on us. Despite treatment after treatment, mildew returned, time after time, taking with it a much of the crop at La Pèira. By contrast, July onwards until the end of harvest were worry free, with perfect weather conditions and ripening. The Wine Scholar Guild vintage chart for the region (compiled by Andrew Jefford) gives the vintage a four out of five glass rating (‘Excellent’).

2018 Losses and Gains
First the losses: one third of the crop was lost in 2018 at La Pèira. One in every three bottles were lost to due to the worst outbreak of mildew in 25 years. The cause? A wet spring followed by heavy rain in May and June with high humidity.
After these early losses, July and August saw the warm weather return. The sun led the vines from September to October, with not a drop of rain from the beginning of the harvest right until its end. And so, fortuitously, our luck having changed, we gained the opportunity to harvest each grape variety at the best moment. This is the second year of low production. You may remember from last year’s vintage report Decanter magazine wrote wine production to be at “historic lows” in 2017.
2018 in brief:
• A rainy wet spring great for the vines during budding and at the beginning of growing season
• Heavy rain during May and June. This led to high humidity and mildew on a level that has not been seen in the last quarter of a century
• Around 30% of crop was lost at La Pèira due to mildew in 2018
• July and August saw warm summer weather return. September remained sunny with cooling nights
• Then not a drop of rain from the beginning of the harvest until its end in early October. This allowed harvesting the grapes at the best moment without the pressure from changeable weather conditions.
•After this restraint, when harvest finished a terrible storm broke in the neighbouring Aude area caused destruction and damage.
• By this point the grapes has been all brought in.
And the result?
• An exuberant vintage with wines of concentration, structure, and generosity.
• Production down by a third
• La Pèira 2018 has exuberant creamy red fruits
on the nose, then notes of cedar, spice, sous bois, earth, leading to wine of concentration, structure, and balance full-bodied southern French generosity.
• 2018 La Flors is we think one the greatest Las Flors blends yet. Surprisingly dark colour. The same creamy red fruits of its older sibling (La Pèira) on the nose. On the mouth crisp feeling of red and black fruits you can almost bite into.
The Whites
•An extraordinary year for the whites. More about the expressive, exotic, and very different whites along with Janis Robinson’s notes follow in the pages ahead.
•A level of expression of Terrasses du Larzac whites that articulates something unique not found elsewhere in other French AOP.

Full La Pèira 2018 Presentation PDF

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira

JANCIS ROBINSON RECENT REVIEWS

“…this [La Pèira 2018] shows the potential to rival or even exceed the 2016 in terms of subtlety and sophistication”

La Pèira 2018 Healthy purplish crimson. Savoury, vigorous nose. Good lift with a floral top note. Still embryonic but this shows the potential to rival or even exceed the 2016 in terms of subtlety and sophistication. Real energy here as well as gloriously ripe, cossetted fruit. I’d love to taste this again once bottle. Admirably persistent already.
La Pèira 2017 Mid shaded crimson. Fresher nose than the 2016 at present, though the texture is just as opulent and the palate, if anything, more obviously sweet. With just a hint of heat on the finish. I wonder whether this has a little more Mourvèdre in the blend? There’s a slightly gamey note – but it’s a marvellous throat-soother. Very long and ripe. Just not quite as fresh on the palate.
La Pèira 2016 Heady, intense, already complex nose that’s enormously ripe and concentrated yet beautifully refined with the smoothest tannins. Really very classy indeed. A seamless blend, with notes of both chocolate and vegetation to keep it fresh. Exceptionally long and pure without any excess heat on the end…This is great winemaking and, presumably, terroir and vine growing.

Jeb Dunnuck’s review of the La Pèira 2016 called it: “Up with the finest vintages of this cuvée and a candidate for perfection” {97-99/10.  He went on, “…despite being a rich, powerful wine, has remarkable elegance and purity. I’ve called this estate one of the best in France, and I stand by that statement today. “

2018 looks set to be one of the great La Pèira vintages.

 

Full La Pèira 2018 Presentation PDF

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira

La Peira 2018 Vintage (part 1) La Peira