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The wines of Clos Lapeyre, Jurançon, France

Clos Lapeyre is a 12 ha domain owned by the Larrieu family, in Jurançon, Southwest France. The first vintage here was 1985, and the vines occupy a priveliged position on steep slopes at an altitude of 250 m. Jean-Bernard Larrieu makes the wines, and his aim is produce wines that express the specificity of the grape varities and the soils (pebbly clay/limestone and silex). Jean-Bernard is introducing organic viticulture here: he avoids herbicides, works the soil to encourage deep rooting, and uses natural composts. The attention to detail and terroir-focused approach shows in the wines, which are wonderfully original. These are wines bursting with character, and I recommend you try them if you have the chance. Prices for these wines range from about £10-17, which is very reasonable for the quality on offer. 

Jurançon Sec 2001
100% Gros Manseng. This is a firm, savoury white with striking minerally, slightly herby palate. With good acid and concentration, there’s lots of interest here. Mouthfilling, chunky and structured. Very good+ (88)

Jurançon Sec Vitatge Vielh 2000
50% Petit Manseng, 40% Gros Manseng and 10% Courbu, from old vines (at least 60 years), harvested at the end of October and fermented in barrel. Taut, slightly smoky, herby nose with some beguiling floral complexity. The palate is concentrated, intense and savoury, with herb and straw notes. Lovely balance. Very good/excellent (92)

Jurançon Moelleux 2001
85% Gros Manseng/15% Petit Manseng, late harvested with 2 sweeps through the vineyard (tris) in November. 50% fermented in barrels, with the remainder in vats. Microoxygenation used. Delicate honey and herb-tinged nose is enticing, with a sweet edge. Lovely rich texture on the straw and herb palate with good balance and some honeyed sweetness. Very good/excellent (92)

Jurançon Selection Petit Manseng 2000
Late harvested in November with three tris, whole berry pressing and half fermented in new barrels. Golden colour. Exotic, full herbal nose is very striking, full and sweet edged. The palate is massive with imposing flavours of apricot and sweet honeyed notes. Super-concentrated, bold and powerful, this is magnificent. Excellent (95)

UK agent: Les Caves de Pyrene (contact: neo@vibrantc.com)
Les Caves de Pyrene have a retail shop located in Guildford: Pew Corner, Old Portsmouth Road, Artington, Guildford, GU3 1LP

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