Pascal Perret started his professional life as a photographer, learning and working with the greatest and taking every effort to capture the beauty he saw in the best way possible. In 1989 Pascal was working in America and the revelation of experiencing great wine opened up a world of sensations that he wanted to explore further. Over time, Pascal continued to taste and develop his knowledge of wine and winemakers – he travelled and met Jacques Reynaud (Ch. Rayas) and witnessed his special terroir, amazing old cellar and unforgettable Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Many others too: Coche Dury, Henry Jayer, Marcel Guigal, Didier Daguenneau, Didier Barral etc, etc. The desire to become a vigneron was now undeniable for Pascal. Whilst working as a photographer for various magazines – Wine Spectator, RVF, Gault and Millau - he carried on exploring great winemakers and great terroirs. It was whilst working on a report on the great winegrowers of the Languedoc that Pascal was seduced by the potential of this region. He settled on Gabian in the Herault, with it’s beautiful soils of schist, basalt and grés (sandstone). The parcel ‘Les Pascales’ was acquired in January 2001, a total of four hectares (now six) planted to old vine Cinsault, Carignan, Grenache, Syrah and Terret (an amazing co-plant of Blanc, Gris and Noir) that produces one of the very finest white wines of the Languedoc, “Orphée”. In vineyard terms, a tiny domaine, or a “human-sized” domaine, in Pascal’s words. A vineyard in a beautiful, wild area surrounded by forest and garrigue. Pascal began working, developing his natural and organic management of the vineyard with full respect for the environment. He took his observations and teachings from the greats and adapted his own practices (and continues to do so) that are best suited to this particular terroir. Pascal’s wines have only been exported to a handful of countries. The small productions each vintage are taken mostly by the finest restaurants in France. They have remained pretty much a secret all this time. Interestingly, this 2008 cuvee has picked up a couple of Parker scores over the years, where each writer encourages American importers to get involved (the Lumen wines are described as ‘outstanding efforts”), but importers likely did not get involved due of the relatively low scores in Parker terms – a ‘90’ and an ’88-89’ on two separate occasions for this 2008. The type of scores most good quality Languedoc-Roussillon growers would like to receive from Parker though, I believe.
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