Pic St. Loup is often described as the best terroir in the Languedoc. Pierre Jequier and Blandine Chauchat have a beautifully situated property there. Most of the vines are about 40 years old, but a particular patch of old-vine Carignan and old-vine Grenache are the oldest in the village — they date from 1954, when a freakishly cold winter killed every vine in Pic St. Loup. Most notable is they way they farm their property. Fully committed to Biodynamics as well as organic viticulture, their vineyards are chemical free. Insects buzz everywhere, and a cadre of Nubian goats wanders through the rows, keeping the grass down and providing incidental fertilizer at the same time.
The result is an excellent range of wines. The largely vat-raised Orphée is equal parts Grenache and Syrah, offering juicy ripe fruit and garrigue. Tonillières is the basic Syrah-dominated blend with redder fruit and more pepper and spice. Calades is from the best Syrah, raised in demi-muids and capable of bottle age. The oldest vines are split into Gran’Tonillieres, which since 2012 is 100% old vine Carignan, and Le Petit Duc, from all of the oldest-vine Grenache. Both are special representations of their varietals.