Domaine L'Hortus is located in one of the choice cooler sections of the appellation of Pic St Loup in the Languedoc, with vineyards nestled in a valley between the two limestone cliffs of Pic St Loup and the Montagne de Hortus. The winery was officially started in 1978 when Jean Orliac, an agriculture professor and avid rock climber, fell in love with the area and purchased land in and around these cliffs. After years of befriending vines and transforming 50 hectares of wooded slopes in disrepair, the family finally bottled their own wine in 1990.
The 'Bergerie' Rouge is a classic blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, from vineyards low in the foothills of the region. The body and pepper notes come from the Syrah, with the Grenache providing typical spice and perfumed notes, and the Mourvedre adding savoury complexity and structure. Altogether, it's a beautiful example from one of the best producers in the Coteaux du Languedoc.
60% Syrah, 35% Grenache, 5% Mourvedre. Vineyards located between the cliffs of the Pic St Loup and the Montagne de Hortus, about 15 km from the Mediterrean Sea. Various orientations from full south to full north. In general, cooler climate varietals are grown in north-facing (Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc) and warmer climate grapes in south-facing (Grenache, Mourvedre). Fermented in temperature controlled tanks with a cuvaison up to one month. Aged for 9 months in a combination of 65% tank and 35% 2nd passage barrels.
The nose is intense, and spicy. Plenty of ripe berry aromas, with lifted black and white pepper notes. There's also a sense of minty freshness and lively spiciness. The palate follows suit. This is a dry red, with a crisp and vibrant acidity that underlines the juicy raspberry and ripe blueberry flavors. The body is round and generous, gently warming, but never overwhelming with too much power. Very balanced overall, with generous flavour and spice, leading to an elegant, savoury finish.