Mas des Brousses, 2017 Terrasses du Larzac
Located in the hills above the fertile Herault river valley, just south of Pic Saint Loup, is the village of Puechabon. Xavier Peyraud, grandson of Lulu and Lucien Peyraud of the famed Domaine Tempier in Bandol, together with his wife Géraldine Combes, took over her family vineyards, where they farm nearly 20 acres of vines planted to Grenache, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and assorted white varieties. While Géraldine’s family had originally intended to sell grapes to the local co-op, Xavier and Géraldine saw the beginnings of their shared dream to establish a domaine of their own, and thus was born Mas des Brousses. Since 1997, the couple have handled every aspect of viticulture and winemaking from vine to bottle. They augmented the hectarage by planting Mourvèdre from Tempier cuttings. Xavier left his family estate in the hands of his cousins, but he couldn’t let pass the opportunity to take a few Mourvèdre cuttings with him to the Languedoc! Today, Mourvèdre is a valued component of the Mas des Brousses Terasses du Larzac blend, and it is increasingly important to the culture and identity of the appellation as a whole.
The couple work organically in the vineyards and have never used pesticides or herbicides. They aim to minimally disrupt the soils with a goal of striking a balance between controlling natural grass cover and preserving moisture in the soils. No plowing is done between vine rows and the soil is worked just once a year between each individual vine. Grapes are hand-harvested, wines are fermented with native yeasts and minimal or no sulfur and are bottled unfiltered to capture the intense fruit and garrigue aromas that the terroir has to offer. These are transporting wines, reminiscent of the herb-laden landscape of rosemary, thyme and sage. The fruity and crunchy “Chasseur des Brousses” is a go-to for a juicy mover, while the Terrasses du Larzac marries power and balance and achieves the rare and coveted descriptor of “rustic elegance”.