CLOS MARIE, Lauret
Christophe Peyrus took over his family’s vineyards in 1991 and within nineteen years, his estate has ascended from obscurity to the top echelon of French wine addresses.
The 20-ha vineyards are scattered around the terraces that rise from the village of Lauret up to the sharp cliffs that form part of the plateau of the Hortus mountain. The soils are clay and chalky limestone, and all of the vineyards are continuously plowed to force the vines’ roots to seek nourishment deep down in the limestone bedrock. The domaine has been farmed using
biodynamic principles since 2000, and no pesticides or herbicides have ever been used. The harvest is done manually. Yields for the various cuvées vary between 15-35hl per hectare.
Christophe is also a partisan of vendanges entieres (the inclusion of whole clusters in red wine fermentation – in his case generally at least 50%), for this, the stems must be thoroughly ripe. Christophe uses very little new oak barrels, interestingly the few he acquires each year, come from Austrian barrel-maker Franz Stockinger.
From a 8-ha plot, Clos Marie Olivettes is a blend of Grenache (60%), Syrah and Cinsault, it is really impressive and almost Northern Rhone in style. Firm, tightly-knit redcurrant, cherries with notes of garrigues and herbs, the palate is elegant with blackberry and liquorice-infused fruit and an elegant touch of pepper.