Mas Jullien 'Autour de Jonquières' 2019Regular price £42.00
Growing up on his family’s Languedoc estate in the 1970s, Olivier Jullien was surrounded by farmers using questionable practices to deliver enormous yields of sub-standard fruit. While many of his own generation subsequently turned their back on farming, he saw the potential of these ancient clay and limestone terroirs to produce wines of the highest quality.
In his early 20s, Olivier acquired vineyards 40km inland from the Mediterranean, on the rocky Terrasses du Larzac, and set about establishing an area wine writer Andrew Jefford would come to describe as the “greatest vineyard land in the south of France”. By pulling up plots to replant vegetation and restore the balance of the local ecosystem, Mas Jullien has always been an estate that shows maximum respect for the land.
Utilising his detailed knowledge of local soils and traditionalist approach to winemaking, Olivier crafts exhilarating, long-lived wines from old vine Carignan, Mourvèdre, and Syrah - in recent years exclusively from vineyards around the village of Jonquières. Aged in foudres for two years, his flagship red exudes both power and elegance. Rich and expressive, it offers suave, spice and olive-inflected black fruit that reveals earthy mineral complexity with time in bottle.
Olivier’s Vin de Pays de l'Hérault Blanc – a blend of rare old parcels of Carignan Blanc and Chenin Blanc aged in barrel for 12 months – is among the Languedoc’s most acclaimed white wines. A deft combination of texture and tension, it bursts with zesty citrus fruit and saline minerality.
No other estate – not even neighbouring luminaries Grange des Pères and Mas de Daumas Gassac – has done as much as Mas Jullien to reimagine the Languedoc as a fine wine region. The presence of Olivier’s wines on top wine lists in France is testament to this fact, and their popularity makes it rare to see a parcel on the UK market – rarer still to see such critically acclaimed vintages with bottle age.
Perfectly judged fruit – suave and spicy – and yet ultra-fine and elegant. Fresh and structured, with good cellaring potential, but so much vigour and drinkability right now. Decant. Drink to 2040+.
|Main grapes||Carignan, Mourvèdre, Syrah|