Languedoc hopeful Pic Saint Loup will get AOC status for 2017 vintage
The Languedoc could soon have a new AOP for the 2017 vintage if plans to award new accreditation to the Pic Saint Loup area goes ahead.
It rests on getting final approval from the Institut National de l’Origine et de la Qualité (INAO).
Currently classified as a AOC Languedoc-Pic Saint Loup, the region was approved for promotion to just AOC Pic Saint Loup by the national board of the INAO last September.
For the final approval to go through it needs the stamp of the French minister for agriculture. Hopes are that will be granted in time for it to be in place for the 2017 vintage.
Only red and rosé wines will be covered by the new AOC. Under this new label, all red wines must consist of at least 50% Syrah and also include either Mourvedre or Grenache or both, while small amounts of Carignan, Cinsaut, Counoise and Morrastel are also allowed.
Its rosé wines will have to see 30% of the blend made up of Syrah with either or both Grenache and Mourvedre. Slightly higher proportions of Carignan will also be allowed as well as Grenache Gris, Counoise and Morrastel.
“The choice of Syrah shows the direction the producers want the wines and region to go in,” said Elizabeth Gabay, MW, speaking at Vinisud this week.
The region is looking to recover its reputation which has been tarnished in recent years by the over planting of Cinsaut and Carignan which have not done as well in the cool climate as Grenache, often failing to ripen properly.
Things have improved over the last 20 years with more plantings of Syrah, Grenach and Mourvedre, which have helped it get to the expected AOC level.
The winegrowers of the region are now pushing for recognition for their white wines, according to the president of the Pic Saint Loup winegrowers union Régis Valentin.
Pic Saint Loup is situated close to the Rhone and in the most northern, coolest and wettest of all the Languedoc AOC, receiving around 1,000 mm of rain a year.