Vintage: 2020

VintageProduct CodeFormatClosureAvailability
2020DH202A2012 x 75Natural CorkAvailable
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
Producer

In the heart of the Languedoc’s Pic Saint-Loup appellation, Domaine de l’Hortus was established by Jean Orliac in the late 1970s. A keen rock climber and recent agricultural college graduate, Jean recognised the potential for growing quality grapes on the steep, limestone slopes of Mount Hortus. Fortunately, this land was unwanted and cheap, so Jean could purchase 50 hectares to grow vines. He spent the next 15 years understanding the complex soil structures of his domaine and carefully selecting suitable parcels for each grape variety. Domaine de l'Hortus’ released their first vintage in 1990. Over the years, this unique location persuaded Jean’s children, François, Yves and Martin Orliac, to return home and take over the business. Now over 40 years later, Domaine de l’Hortus comprises 80 hectarres of vines and is a flag-bearer for the Pic Saint-Loup appellation.

Since taking over, Jean’s children have introduced higher planting densities and sustainable practices in the vineyards of Domaine de l'Hortus. Viticulturist François uses cover crops and deep-rooting plants to break up the soil naturally, plus vegetal compost to boost soil quality. No pesticides or insecticides are required thanks to the moderate climate and surrounding rich biodiversity. Limestone terraces, planted on the lower slopes of Mount Hortus, reflect the heat and allow Mourvèdre to ripen well. In contrast, the cooler, north-east facing, steep slopes of neighbouring Mount Pic produce scented Syrah and bright Grenache, while the alluvial soils of the valley floor suit the white varieties.

The ‘Grand Cuvée’ Rouge is sourced from the mid-slope limestone terraces, which vary in elevation from 150-300 metres. This parcel benefits from the best water supply which, together with the limestone soils and elevation, allows for both homogenous maturity and excellent freshness. A blend of 65% Syrah, 30% Mourvèdre and 5% Grenache is destemmed, crushed and vinified in vats before blending. The final wine is then aged in new, one and two-year-old, 225 and 400-litre oak casks for 12 months to lend added complexity.

The ‘Bergerie’ white and red are sourced from the valley floor and Mountain foothills respectively. These vines are less exposed to the elements than those on the higher terraces, causing the grapes to mature later and produce an excellent balance of acidity and aromatic complexity. The white blends Roussanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier and Sauvignon Gris and is classified as ‘Vin de France’ since the Pic-Saint-Loup appellation only currently includes red and rosé wines. The grapes are harvested at night to retain maximum freshness, before being gently pressed and cold-settled before a three-to-four-week fermentation. After blending, the wine is aged in vats for four months before bottling. The limestone foothills and 150 – 200m elevation help the Mourvèdre, Grenache and Syrah grapes retain their excellent acidity and bright fruit expression, resulting in a vibrant red blend. These grapes are de-stemmed, crushed and then fermented in stainless-steel vats. The Grenache and Syrah are aged in vats for 12 months while the Mourvèdre is aged in two-year-old oak casks to lend additional weight to the blend.

Vineyards

The vineyards stretch across a deep valley between two mountains: The Pic Saint Loup and the Hortus. The Bergerie Rouge is sourced from vineyards planted on the foothills of these mountains. The vines are less exposed to the elements than the higher terraces and the grapes therefore mature later, resulting in an excellent balance between acidity and aromatic complexity. Jean's children have introduced higher density plantings and sustainable practices to the vineyards to improve the soils and quality of the grapes.

Vintage

The 2020 harvest was early due to a warm spring. Flowering occurred in very good climatic conditions which enabled even ripening in the vineyard. The different plots were harvested from the 10th to the end of september depending on varieties and exposure. The maturity was optimal with great balance and refined aromas thanks to a rather cool and not dry summer.

Vinification

The grapes were de-stemmed and crushed before undergoing fermentation for 25-30 days in temperature-controlled stainless-steel vats. A small percentage of the Mourvèdre was aged in two-year-old barrels to add weight to the blend whilst the Syrah and Grenache were kept in stainless steel before blending and bottling.

Tasting Notes & Technical Details

The wine shows an expressive nose of fresh black fruit notes with hints of liquorice and herbs. The palate is medium-bodied with a balance of bright red and black fruit intensity and vibrant acidity complemented by underlying spice and soft tannins.

Alcohol (ABV)

14%

Acidity

4.54 g/l

Residual Sugar

0.8 g/l

pH

3.75

Other wines from this producer

Producer
Wine
Product Code
Features
Style
Domaine de l'HortusGrande Cuvée RougeDH201
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
R
Red
Factsheet
Bergerie de L'Hortus BlancDH203
Vegetarian
Vegan
Sustainable
W
White
Factsheet