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Les Heretiques Pays D Herault 2016

90% Carignan/10% Syrah. Current proprietor Marie-Pierre Iché runs the 60-hectare estate started by her great, great grandfather founded when he bought the historic Château d’Oupia property in 1860. Her father André Iché was a modern Languedoc pioneer: he broke away from the local co-op to focus on quality over quantity in this bulk-driven region in the 1960s and 70s; made a point of preserving Oupia’s venerable old vines (Carignan mainly) as well as promoting the same throughout the local community; planted Syrah, a more noble grape than was common then in the Languedoc; and helped fight for and establish the Minervois AOC that came into being in 1973. Named for a heretical religious sect wiped out by Pope Innocent III in 1208, Hérétiques comes from Oupia’s IGT Pays d’Herault vines: the fruit from 40-year-old Carignan vines is vinified half traditionally and half carbonically before being blended with Syrah and aged for 6 months in steel tank and neutral oak vats.

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