Hérault, France

Les Petites Mises

En Face 2018

£27

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LES PETITES MISES
En Face 2018
Hérault, France

Syrah from thirty year old vines planted over dense clay and marls. The grapes were destemmed and spent forty days on skins, before pressing and eighteen months rest in glass demijohns. It is a pretty expression of Syrah with lifted varietal notes of black fruits, olives, herbs and brine. There is a beautiful depth to the fruit and tannins here and this will no doubt age wonderfully over the coming years.

Syrah

Nathalie Guillevic and Etienne Granier farm four hectares of vines hidden amongst woodlands in Quarante, a tiny village northwest of Beziers in the Hérault. Having lived for many years in both Provence and the Ardèche, the two developed an interest in the kind of wines we love and in 2017 decided to settle here, drawn to the region because of its natural beauty, grape varieties and terroir.

The vines are planted in gobelet over clay and limestone. The oldest are over a hundred years old and have been farmed organically for almost thirty years. The two work with a real attention to detail in the vineyards, which are treated only with a little copper, sulphur, herbal teas and essential oils.

In the cave their approach is inspired and unique. The grapes are harvested early in the morning, destemmed by hand in the afternoon and fermented in large old oak casks of five hundred litres. Once fermentation is finished, they are given a very gentle press to fifty four litre glass demijohns where they rest for up to two years. When the wines are ready they are bottled by gravity with no additions.

Nathalie and Etienne’s wines have a rare sense of clarity and focus. Built on the backbone of pristine fruit, they are strikingly pure, offering a beautiful vision of grape and place.