Mas Jullien Terrasses du Larzac 'Lous Rougeos' 2021
In the late 70’s, there were many uprisings in the Languedoc wine region because of the economic hardship of small, independent farmers (which is still the case). The Languedoc’s vineyards were overcropped to produce cheap wine. When his generation was thinking of leaving the region, Olivier Jullien, then 20 years old, converted some of the family farm’s outbuildings into a cellar, and he started making wines under the Mas Jullien label. Inspired by Olivier’s success, his father withdrew from the co-operative and create his own winery, Mas Cal Demoura, in 1993.
Olivier revived a few plots of vineyards from 1985 in the Coteaux du Languedoc, around the village of Jonquières, 40km North of Montpellier, just below Mont Baudille, planted at up to 900 m - some of the highest altitude vineyards in the region. This sub region of Coteaux du Languedoc has now gained its own AOP, the Terrasses du Larzac. Mas Jullien’s estate now spreads on 20 hectares. The soils include clay, chalk, limestone gravel (a terroir especially appreciated by Olivier Jullien for its microbe activity), sandstone and siliceous earth. Vines are 35 years on average, with red varieties (mainly carignan, as well as cinsault, grenache noir, syrah and mourvèdre) accounting for 16 hectares and white varieties (viognier, chenin, roussanne and manseng) accounting for 4 hectares.
60% old carignan, 40% syrah, aged in demi-muids for 12 months.
Lous Rougeos is the last arable land at the foot of the cliff of the Larzac Plateau, a balcony of limestone scree that overlooks the village of St-Privat at 400-500m altitude. This was the village's wine land and each family had to own a small piece for their own consumption. Abandoned for several decades, Olivier has rediscovered the original vineyard, rebuilt the dry stone walls, replanted and cultivated the old vines that are still there.
In the same fashion as the Carlan, Lou Rougeos is a fresher style of red wine, away from the heat of the average Languedoc wines. Lots of finesse and elegance, and great acidity.