Mas Jullien Cuvee Carlan Terrasses du Larzac
Regular price $76.00
Winemaker: Olivier Jullien
Appellation: Languedoc, France
Grape Variety: 50% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 15% Cinsault, and 10% Syrah
Unlike the rest of Olivier’s holdings, which are planted on predominantly limestone soil, “Carlan” features schist, sandstone, and iron, and is planted at 240 meters above sea level. The majority of the vines are 75 years old, with some “younger” vines at around 45 years of age. The blend is 50% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 15% Cinsault, and 10% Syrah. The combination of terroir and cépage give this wine a softer, fruit-forward profile than Mas Jullien’s signature red. A forest floor nose with the whiff of a distant bonfires leads onto a palate of dark berried fruit with hints of chocolate, cassis and violet with tapenade and hedgerow underneath.
As a boy in the late 70’s, Olivier Jullien witnessed the winegrowers’ uprisings in the Languedoc provoked by economic difficulties that beset (and continue to plague) small, independent farmers. The Languedoc’s vineyards were in a critical state, with decades of over cropping to produce inexpensive wine with little thought coming to a painful but necessary end. The region’s youth wanted nothing more than to leave viticulture behind, but Olivier became one of the region’s great pioneers. Only 20 years old when he converted some of the family farm’s outbuildings into a cellar, he began vinifying and bottling his wines under the Mas Jullien label. Olivier’s success was such that he inspired his father to withdraw from the co-operative and create his own winery, Mas Cal Demoura, in 1993.
Today, the Mas Jullien controls 15 ha of vines scattered around the village of Jonquières, north of Montpellier and 40 km inland from the Mediterranean. The vines grow on the rocky terraces of the Larzac plateau at the foot of Mont Baudille, planted at up to 900 m, at some of the highest altitudes in the region. Our first meeting with Olivier, late in a winter afternoon in the mid-1980’s, still speaks to the Domaine’s strength today. The encounter was electric with anticipation, enthusiasm, even revolution. There was not much to admire in the Languedoc at that point but here was a creative genius whose moral mandate was to prove the worth of his land. His triumph is to be found in the bottles of wine he has produced and continues to produce that are, quite simply, among the most important and compelling wines of our portfolio.