Julien Peyras is an incredibly talented winemaker working in the Languedoc near the village of Paulhan which lies just a short drive north-east of Beziers. All of his wines are equally delicious, however a couple of his offerings really caught our attention. First, he is a master of rose and his Rose Bohême is one of the freshest and most delicious we have ever tasted.
Then we tried his delicious aged white wine made from Clairette, Grenache Blanc and Roussanne and we were equally impressed. And finally when we tried his Gourmandise made from Cinsault which was picked from vines that are over forty years old and came to the conclusion that we liked everything he makes.
And there is an added bonus of zero added sulphur! Julien is a member of the small, but very active and dedicated, S.A.I.N.S. group that are committed to using no sulphur at all during the winemaking process. He is also a member of the Association des Vins Naturels.
His vines are planted on terraces that are strewn with rocks and clay from the Villefranchian epoch which was the most recent epoch of the Tertiary period, just before the start of the Quaternary period.
Julien Peyras “Les Pétillantes” Blanc 2021
This cuvée is a lovely Pet Nat made from 30% Chardonnay hand picked from 35 year old vines that have thrived on Villafranchienne soils and 70% Clairette picked from 40 year old vines which have grown in the less common Basalt soils. In both cases the yield was extremely low at only 10 hectolitres per hectare.
The grapes for both were pressed and the juice was fermented using the natural yeasts. The resultant alcohol level was a low 10.4%.
The grapes were picked between the 10th and 28th August 2021 and the wine was bottled soon after in September 2021.
Julien Peyras Vin de France Rose Bohême 2021
A blend of Grenache (70%) grown on basalt and Syrah (30%) grown on clay this has always been a perfect summer wine. It’s released for the French summer and is long sold out in France but, for once, our shipment aligns with our summer. This is probably more good luck than good timing but it makes us happy.
The Grenache is macerated for 24 hours and the Syrah is direct pressed. At 11.6% alcohol it’s quite good for picnics too.
The thing though that really moved us this year though was the comment Julien penned about this wine. Translated (thanks Google) he said:
I have been working the vines for about ten years. My dream was to do a product that looks like me, that follows my convictions, i.e. respecting the nature, its ecosystem, working with natural products…this product is therefore the fruit of work, pleasure and reward because it is above my expectations.”
Given he is generally a pessimistic person this is quite a statement!
Julien Peyras Vin de France L’Inattendu
L’Inattendu is aptly called ‘the unexpected’ because it is a complex assemblage of the juice from three different grape varieties that have all been treated in a different way. The main actor in this exciting drama is one of our favourite southern grapes, Clairette which comprises 50% of the blend. This grape is capable of delivering great wines in the hands of a skilled winemaker and that is definitely the case here.
The skins of the Clairette were macerated for two weeks – we think a perfect amount of time to extract the anthocyanins from the skin of the grapes to give a lovely, light orange hue to the wine, but not too long which leads to the extraction of harsh tannins.
At the same time Roussanne and Grenache Blanc were directly pressed and started fermenting in old barrels. When the maceration of the Clairette was completed the juice from the Roussanne and the Grenache Blanc was transferred to the must of the Clairette and the Clairette was transferred to the old barrel!
This has produced an exceptionally complex orange wine that has no harsh overtones and still has vibrant fresh fruit flavour. This is an intriguing wine which can be drunk as an aperitif or as an accompaniment to food.
RRP: SOLD OUT
Julien Peyras Vin de France Les Copains d’Abord 2021
We have received stocks of a special white wine (actually orange given the fact that the skins were left in contact with the juice) that Julien has crafted from Clairette (which was direct pressed), and Grenache Blanc and Roussanne (these grapes were macerated for a very short three days).
The Clairette provides elegance and length, the Grenache Blanc provides structure and the Roussanne contributes its characteristic full-bodied fruitiness. All of the grapes come from small parcels near the village of Paulhan where the soils are limestone mixed with white and pink quartz.
This is an amazing wine where the minerality shines through and the quality of the wine is marked by the long, lingering and delicious finish.
RRP: $50 (SOLD OUT)
Julien Peyras Vin de France Gourmandise 2021
This wine is 100% Cinsault, from 40ish year old vines planted in clay and limestone.
Normally, you would expect a Cinsault from the Languedoc to be quite dark and heavy. Nothing could be further from the mark with this wine. It is bright, light and delicious. It can even be served lightly chilled to enjoy it to the full.
There is a tiny amount of reduction and for that reason Julien suggests using a carafe but it is very easy to drink with a little bitterness countered by ripe strawberries. It is only 11.5% alcohol.
RRP: $46 (SOLD OUT)
Julien Peyras Vin de France Séraphin 2021
Séraphin is an intensely flavoured red wine made almost entirely from Grenache and this year with a little Clairette added. The forty year old vines grow in quartz and limestone clay and Julien treats the vines using biodynamic techniques including nettle and fenugreek sprays.
The grapes ripened well in the 2021 summer. The grapes were picked by hand and then completely destemmed before being macerated for 2 weeks to extract the colour from the skins.
The wine was fermented naturally and then transferred to three year old 400 litre barrels where it matures for 6 months. The grapes were picked on the 27th August 2021 and the juice was bottled on the 9th and 10th of March 2022.
Very little of this wine is produced so we are lucky to have our small allocation.
We recommend that you decant this wine before drinking. Note that you can pour it into a jug and then back into the bottle if you like!
RRP: $51 (SOLD OUT)
Julien Peyras Vin de France Syrah Nostra
This wine is made purely from Syrah picked from 40 year old vines which thrive in Villafranchienne soils (the soils are limestone mixed with white and pink quartz). The only sprays that are used on this plot are natural sprays made from thistles, comfrey and horsetail.
The harvesting is always done by hand into small containers so that then grapes are not damaged during this process. The skins were kept in contact with the juice until the fermentation was complete.
The wine was vinified by the natural yeasts on the grapes and was then matured in stainless steel vats. The grapes were picked on the 14th August 2020 and the wine was bottled on the 10th June 2021.
The label was created by a young, local graphic artist.
RRP: $47 (SOLD OUT)
Julien Peyras Vin de France Lo Tarral
The Lo Tarral, which is the Occitan name of the local north wind that blows down from the hinterland mountains behind Montpellier is made from the trinity favoured in this area, namely Grenache, Carignan and Syrah. The yield for the Syrah is a low 30 hectolitres per hectare and for the Carignan and Grenache is a miniscule 15 hectolitres per hectare thus producing a wine of intense concentration.
These grapes are vinified separately in stainless steel containers with pigeage (punch down) occurring daily. The wines are then matured in separate containers. They are blended together just before bottling.
This is a delicious, earthy and interesting red wine with strength and wonderful heady aromas.
RRP: SOLD OUT