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    The Shore Club | SEAFOOD STEAK COCKTAILS
    11 Colonel By Drive,
    Ottawa, ON K1N 9H4

    EMAIL ottawa@theshoreclub.ca
    TEL (613) 569-5050 FAX (613) 569-5055
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A Cru in the Languedoc

A Cru in the Languedoc

A Cru in the Languedoc
by Allison Vidug

Pic Saint Loup is a mountain that juts out of the landscape in the Languedoc, a region located in the southwest of France.  Its presence is dramatic.   Not only is it beautiful, but there are some special attributes to the region that give the wines distinction.  These factors have elevated the wines from Pic Saint Loup to their own AOC status amongst the other wines from the Languedoc.  Here’s what makes the wines from Pic Saint Loup stand out in the Languedoc. 

 

The warm Mediterranean climate provides hours of sunlight for ripening the grapes to full potential.  At the same time, Pic Saint Loup is closer to sea level then other grape growing areas in the Languedoc.  This lower elevation provides a slightly cooler climate, which prevents the grapes from becoming over ripe.  The cooler temperatures help preserve the focused aromas from the grapes, ultimately giving more layered nuances to the wine. 

 

The soils are comprised of calcaire limestone.  This soil is great for vineyards as the soil is not too fertile, causing the vines to grow their roots deep into the earth searching for sustenance.   When the vine is stressed, it will instinctually put all of its energy into the berries.  Again, making a more interesting wine.   Calcaire is also great for absorbing water, which is an important factor when cultivating vines in the dry Languedoc, reserving water for the vines in drought conditions. 

 

Regulation of grape varieties restricts which grapes can be grown and the proportion of the varieties in the blend of the wines.  For red wines, 90% of the wine from Pic Saint Loup must be from the three noble varieties; Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre.  Ten percent may be Cinsault or Carignan.  Yeilds are also regulated to 45 hectoliters per hectare.  These regulations result in wines that are more concentrated and structured, giving the wines potential to age for years in the cellar. 

 

Finally there is the influence of the local plants surrounding the vineyards.  In the south of France, the term garrigue is used to sum up the aromatic shrub plants such as lavender, thyme, marjoram and rosemary that are found growing wild throughout the region.  It is said that the spores from these plants are on the grapes at harvest.  Their savoury aromas can be detected in the wines, giving a sense of place to the wine. 

 

At The Shore Club Toronto there is currently a 2011 Pic Saint Loup on the wine list from the well know producer Château Lascaux.  Lascaux represents thirteen generations of viticulture in the Languedoc.  The estate consists of 85 hectares of vine amongst 300 hectares of forest and garrigue shrubs.  The 25-year-old vines that grow the Syrah and Grenache for Lascaux’s ‘Les Nobles Pierres’ are certified organic.  The wine is very concentrated, with deep ruby purple colour. The bouquet is full of aromas of sugar plums, fruit cake, baking spices and blackberries and a hint of savoury from the garrigue.  The wine is dry with body that is medium to full, with well-balanced alcohol and ripe fine tannins from time in bottle to settle out.  A warm spicy finish sums up the wine.  Enjoy this delicious wine from a special place in the south of France paired with grilled double cut lamb chops at The Shore Club! 

 

Cheers! 

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