Jurancon Moelleux, Clos Lapeyre, Jurancon, France
This family farm was traditional dedicated to mixed farming with livestock, small fruits and grapes which were taken to the local cooperative. From 1985 onwards, the estate was turned over exclusively to viticulture when Jean-Bernard Larrieu gave birth to Clos Lapeyre, farming his vines, fermenting his grapes, ageing his wines, bottling and then selling them. In 2000, the vineyard covered about 10 hectares and then in 2004 it grew when the magnificent, old vineyards of Domaine de Nays-Labassère were taken over, with an extra 7 hectares in the heart of Chapelle-de-Rousse.
The vineyards, which are now certified organic, are located in the foothills of the Pyrenees. The local microclimate is warm with breezes from the Atlantic and Mediterranean providing the necessary humidity to promote drying, concentration and shrivelling of the grapes while still on the vine (passerillage). All grapes are hand-harvested and contain a pleasantly refreshing acidity, which keeps the wine in balance with its natural sweetness. For me, this type of wine is very versatile and food-friendly, as it can be drunk as an aperitif and/or enjoyed with local cuisine, including foie gras and terrines, cheeses and desserts.