Pic St-Loup in the Languedoc consists of 13 separate communes where 22 domaines and 3 co-ops produce some of the most distinctive wines in the region. It is the high degree of limestone in the soils and the relatively high altitudes of the vineyards that give the wines their finesse and intensity. Lascaux is French for limestone rock, and Jean-Benoît Cavalier has 35 hectares of vines on a series of stony terraces located just north of the village of Vacquires. He took over from his father in 1984 and now one of the leading growers in the appellation. His best wine, Les Nobles Pierres, is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache Jean Benoit’s top wine is a fine testament to his fascination with Syrah. He has cultivated a special plot over twenty years, and given it expensive treatment in the winery, including a twelve month maturation in Allier barriques, of which 30% are new. Syrah is not actually indigenous to this part of the world and requires a skilful winemaker to preserve its structural integrity. M Cavalier is clearly such a winemaker!