Spotlight on Languedoc-Roussillon: La Peira Deusyls 2005

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In my last write up of La Peira I intimated that this winery was one of the stars of the Languedoc, but deferred my reasons for saying so. No longer. It is this wine, which is perhaps the best white I’ve had from the Languedoc and one of the most interesting I’ve had out of France, that convinced me of La Peira’s star status.

The Deusyls is made in a manner that sees some semi-oxidation that produces something unlike most anything else I’ve tasted. According to the winery, the oxidation occurs naturally in the fermentation process and is simply a by-product of grapes that easily oxidize (the wine is made from 65% Viognier and 35% Roussanne). However, it could also be due to the Sauternes-like fermentation methods used by La Peira wine maker Jeremie Depierre. The level of oxidation will vary from year to year and in some years may not be detectable. It will also likely vary with age. I simply do not have enough vintages to do a true comparison – but something fascinatingly compelling is going on here.

This is stunning wine. The nose has extremely intense aromas of honey and figs that suggest an intensity and richness almost as strong as Pedro Ximenez sherry. The palate, however, flips your expectations upside down being both extremely dry and semi-oxidized but also rich, structured and long. Honey and nuts predominate the palate, but there are also a bevy of indescribable flavours that make this extremely interesting. This is far more balanced than any other oxidized white I’ve tasted, including the wines of Jacques Puffeney from the Jura. Despite the level of intrigue, the wine is eminently quaffable and I highly recommend drinking it with Charcuterie.

A sine qua non wine for wine geeks and adventurous wine lovers. La Peira produced only about 80 cases of this wine. We are lucky to have a few in Vancouver.

Excellent to Excellent+
$50 at Marquis Wine Cellars


  1. Weston
    January 10, 2011

    this wine was so awesome I had to buy another bottle before Marquis was sold out since there inventory was showing less then 10

  2. Shea
    January 10, 2011

    It’s pretty fantastic stuff. I’d say drink up soon, but I also want to see what happens to it in a year.

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