La Peira and Las Flors de la Peira 2006
La Peira is a fairly new winery, their first wines launched were the 2005 vintage. Co-owners Rob Dougan and Karine Ahton identified the Terrasses du Larzac as one of the best terroir in the South of France, and – working with gifted oenologist Claude Gros and Bordelais winemaker Jéremie Depierre – set about to craft its premier wine. Claude Gros is the winemaker for Chateau de la Negly and a close collaborator of Jeffrey Davies from Signature Selections who also produces Clos des Truffieres at the same Chateau de la Negly domain. The team behind La Peira is truly exceptional. And so are the wines. They use insanely low yields: under 10 hl/ha for La Peira and under 18 hl/ha for Las Flors de la Peira and a long aging process in new French oak barrels – 18 to 24 months, so naturally the wines have by a great concentration, but somehow they still manage to preserve good freshness.
Having bought these two wines a while ago and therefore having them in my cellar, I invited two friends to have dinner last evening to celebrate a particular coming event. We had dinner at a friend’s restaurant so it was no problem for me to bring my own wines.
We started with a 2007 Chablis 1er Cru from Laroche that, while it doesn’t impress with any certain complexity, it is a wine that pleases the palate next to anchovies and grilled red bell pepper and other Italian cold appetizers.
2007 Laroche Chablis 1er Cru
Pale yellow lemon color. Quite volatile at the beginning, the nose settles after a while and becomes more pleasant, exhibiting aromas of citrus fruit, almonds and hazelnuts, and remaining on the fresh side. Medium bodied, citric and mineral palate, with a medium finish. 12% alc (84/100)
2006 Las Flors de la Peira Terrasses du Larzac
Grenache Noir based blend with parts of Syrah and Mourvedre – 14.5% alc. Deep dark red purple color. Developed, but still youthful and intense nose, with caramel, prunes, blackberry, ink and violet aromas. Full bodied, balanced, with a velvety mouth feel, spicy with black fruits liqueur on the palate, and round tannins. Long finish with a smooth dark chocolatey aftertaste. (92/100)
2006 La Peira en Damasiela Terrasses du Larzac
Predominantly Syrah blend with parts of Grenache and Mourvedre aged for 24 months in new French oak – 14.5% alc. Deep, almost opaque dark purple color. Decadent and explosive on the nose. Blackberry, prunes, meat, beef blood, bacon and black pepper aromas. Very intense aroma of fried bacon also. The wine evolved continuously exhibiting profound depth on the nose. Full bodied, well balanced and very concentrated, really silky, with a lush almost luscious palate. Perfectly ripen tannins, velvety, preserving freshness, with rich layers of ripe black and blue berries, black pepper and a touch of minerality; overall a massive and complex wine. A very long and intense finish and really spicy-peppery aftertaste. This is an impressive wine, the concentration and the intensity are really outstanding. (95-96/100)
A wine that brings back memories of a 2002 La Porte du Ciel by Chateau de la Negly.
We were all impressed by these two red wines that were appreciated by both my friends: one savvier and the other one more of a beginner in wine. After all, it only comes down to: Do you like it or not ?