The summer is winding down and the nights have turned much cooler. Sitting around a campfire the other evening, I detected the slightest wisps of autumn coziness in the air. With the large, friendly response to my ‘Tastings’ series, I realized that this final weekend of summer would be a fantastic opportunity to have a late afternoon wine and cheese tasting in my sister’s gardens. In response to the changing seasons, we decided upon a theme of welcoming in red wines for the approaching brisk weather.
For over 100 years, the Mas family have been tending to vines and crafting wine at Château de Conas located in the Coteaux de Languedoc, along the Mediterranean coast. After the French revolution, the estate was broken up leaving only the family residence and 68 acres of land. In 2000, when 4th generation winemaker Jean-Claude took over the family estate it had increased to 86 acres. Under his direction, the estate has expanded to include 440 acres of vineyards, including Domaines de Nicole and Les Tannes and Astruc and a progressive winery. Jean-Claude also contracts with 80 small family growers that bring an impressive 2000 additional acres under the Mas Domaine. Passionate about the environment, Jean-Claude employs Agriculture Raisonne farming methods and takes it steps further by only using organic fertilizers and adapting the 100 acre Les Tannes estate to all organic farming. The same eco-friendly farming methods and emphasis on respecting the environment are applied to all of the vineyards he contracts with.
Known for his progressive approach to modern winemaking, raising the perception of Languedoc wines worldwide, his creativity and sense of humour, Jean-Claude has had many accolades bestowed on him. In 2006, he had the distinction of being the only wine producer to ever be awarded the Ernst & Young International Mediterranean Entrepreneur of the Year title. In 2008, France’s L’Express magazine named him of the Top 30 Winemakers of Tomorrow, whilst that same year, The Guardian awarded Domaines Paul Mas with Winery of the Year. Always striving to craft superior wines with a “New World Flair”, Jean-Claude’s mission is to “create a moment of pure pleasure” with every bottle.
Domaines Paul Mas Estate Pinot Noir Saint Hilaire Vineyard 2011
Brilliant ruby-red in colour, with aromas of candied violet and black cherry. Bright cherry, red currant and traces of earth were supported by palate cleansing tannins in the light to medium body. Nuances of anise and cigar box spice comprised the moderate finish. Silky smooth and easy drinking, this is a fantastic glass for sipping on its own or enjoying at the table.
100% Pinot Noir
Enjoy now thru 2015
Domaines Paul Mas Estate Gardemiel Vineyard Malbec 2011
Dark garnet in colour with aromas of grape jam and earthy, flinty minerals. Plump, juicy blackberry and plum flavours joined hints of autumn forest elements in the medium body, whilst crushed white and black peppercorn along with traces of crisp green bell pepper comprised the clean finish. Plush and rustic, this is a fruity yet hearty glass that can hold its own with robust and spicy dishes.
Enjoy now thru 2015
Chateau Paul Mas Clos de Savignac Grés de Montpellier 2011
Inky red-violet in colour with aromas of dense black cherry, black pepper and vanilla. Vibrant black cherry and blackberry flavours joined hints of toasted oak and roasted nuts in the full body, whilst spicy black peppercorn, cigar box spice, and rich caramel notes comprised the lengthy finish. Meaty and velvety, this is an exuberant glass for a wide variety of dishes, and lovely for sipping on its own.
Coteaux du Languedoc
50% Mourvèdre, 30% Syrah, 20% Grenache
Enjoy now thru 2018
These were all fantastic, and I am looking forward to trying other wines within the Paul Mas family!
*These wines were submitted as samples for review.