We were extremely fortunate to have deepened our association with Michel Escande, the absolutely brilliant winemaker of Borie de Maurel who consistently produces top-notch syrah in Felines-Minervois. In this case he certainly saved our bacon-fat. We also made great progress with the heretofore old-fangled winemaking co-op in Pépeiux, as rustic town, deep in the heart of the Land of the Cathars. We dragged them kicking and screaming into the Age of Macération Prolongée and Bubbles. More elegant than the fat '98, the wine shows a great deal of class and distinction. We are beginning to better understand the terroir of Minervois and how to best deploy it as a carrier for expressing the feminine genius of la syrah.