Mas du Libian

The Thibon family have farmed this estate at Saint-Marcel d'Ardèche since the 1670s but until 1995 any wine made here was sold to local négociants. 1995 saw Hélène Thibon take up the reins with her sister Catherine, give the estate the name Mas du Libian and start bottling their own wine. They have never looked back.

The vineyards lie on terraces of clay and limestone above the Rhône, some covered with the characteristic pebbles that radiate the heat soaked up during the day, thus helping the grapes to reach perfect ripeness. Grenache, syrah and mourvédre are grown for reds while some viognier, clairette and roussanne are made into the single white wine from the domaine. All are gobelet pruned.

The family has never used artificial pesticides on their land, and they have acquired a horse name Nestor for ploughing instead of using a tractor or the like. All labour up to and including harvesting is done by hand at which time a strict sorting is carried out so that only the best fruit reaches the presses. The wines see no new oak or small barrels, being matured a while in large foudres or demi-muids which do not give oak flavour to the wine and as such allow the terroir to express itself all the more clearly.

This is very much a family affair with their parents watching over Hélène and her husband Alain Macagno, Catherine and their grandchildren as they all take their place among the vines.

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