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Petit Roubié Picpoul de Pinet

1 Mar

Roubie PicpoulChâteau Petit Roubié Picpoul de Pinet 2014, Coteaux du Languedoc, France. 13% ABV, $12/bottle. Made w/ organic grapes & certified organic by Ecocert France SAS.

I’ve been looking for a wine  like this for a while. No, it’s not a wine where the initial taste blows me away and it doesn’t remind me of a special time in my life. Instead, this is a delicate wine that is designed to pair well with food. As a matter of fact, I would not suggest you enjoy this wine on its own, as it would not show as well as it can with grilled or raw fish, especially shellfish, and similar lighter fare.

Color is pale straw with a green tinge and the nose offers wildflowers and lemon zest with hints of petroleum and raw steel. In the mouth, the fruit is citrus in the mid palate with strong acidity on the side and back palate. The finish is clean with tangy citrus, while a touch of fresh heat crosses the top palate and a surprising line of minerals that mixed and confused my palate: silica, schist, flint, marl, clay, halite, limestone, & sandstone. What a wine for ceviche, raw seafood, sushi, and gently cooked fish, or grilled chicken, or for your vegan friends, a plate of grilled asparagus and greens! This is a wine I’ve wanted so many times when I’m cooking a delicate fish course and I wanted a neutral, complementary wine, not a big bold fruit up front new world wine or a super expensive white burgundy.

For a choice that is certified organic, made with organic grapes, and a great complement for delicate food, I did not expect this to come in at under $14. But it did! I’ve had plenty of great surprises from the Languedoc region, so why not a picpoul blanc? Don’t believe me. Find a bottle and taste for yourself as long as you pair it with something light and fresh. You can thank me later. I’ll be finding more of this to stash for future meals, and bringing a few with me to the beach house, pre-chilled, twist-off tops ready for dinner service.

à votre santé!

 

Un, Deux, Trois: Three Wines from Paul Mas and the Languedoc Region

16 Aug

I often rant about how first and second growths are impossibly expensive. To find great value today you have to seek out  lesser-known wines that have rich history and huge local presence that have not yet exploded globally.  That way,  you can acquire good pricing on a wonderful product that amounts to great value. This is one of those tales. Through a winding story we won’t tell, I met up with a fellow wine lover who also adores country wines and especially wines from the Languedoc region. I was nervous I wouldn’t care for the wines I got to taste as happens sometimes, but read on, and you’ll see how I responded. Special thanks to Michelle and Anne for your help and support! -JvB

Un

Paul Mas Estate Pinot Noir 2011

List price  $14/bottle. 13.5% ABV. Samples provided by McCue Marketing.

Light ruby in color with a nose of fresh, sharp cherries, hints of cola and saffron. Cherry and red plum are the dominant fruit flavors on the palate. Holding the wine in my mouth, I pondered the experience: an unexpected, ideal expression of the grape. The clean finish made this wine feel like a pricier burgundy to me, but without the historic wooden barrel effects. Notes of gravel and chalk appear on the medium finish. Overall, my response is a great balance of fresh red fruit with a good acidity and tannin. Juicy, tart, and mouthwatering, you can drink this all day without getting bored, or start the evening with it and move on to pair it with lighter fare up through a fish course.

photo-4

Deux

The Paul Mas Estate Malbec 2011 

List price  $14/bottle. 13.5% ABV.  Samples provided by McCue Marketing.

Bright violet with a purple center and ruby edging. Ripe red fruit on the nose with herbs and wildflowers. On the palate: soft essence of cassis, boysenberry. Short notes of clay and lime and a long, tart finish.  Concentrated, singular and enjoyable, I expected this was a single vineyard before I looked at the label. Paired perfectly with spicy marinana sauce, strong cheese, and spicy food- such as Thai or Mexican, I made fajitas specifically on the second night of tasting this and was wowed by how nice the pairing was. The bright acidity and ripe fruit will allow the wine to cut through the palate when served with powerful flavors such as duck or a bourguignon sauce. Another surprising value from winemaker Jean-Claude Mas. 

PaulMas Malbec

Trois

Chateau Paul Mas Clos de Savignac Grés de Montpellier 2011

List price $27/bottle. 14.5% ABV. Samples provided by McCue Marketing.

Deep purple color with violet edges in the glass; the nose exhibits a lush blend of dark blue and black fruits. On the palate, the initial rush of blackberry, black plum, and currants are met with spice, licorice, oak, and a green vegetation note that hung across my top palate. Limestone, gravel, and mocha notes appeared during the lengthy, oaky finish.  This is a wonderful old world blend with modern efficiency. Speaking of the blend, it is 50% Mourvérdre, 30% Syrah, and 20% Grenache.

PaulMas Montpellier

Centuries of rustic charm on sun-beaten vines meets finesse with the relaxed tannins pulling forward after the liquid has moved below. Powerful, invigorating, and complex are my initial overall impressions, and they stayed consistent as I came back to this wine time and time again. Over four days the nose and fruit aired nicely and developed without losing quality. You can enjoy the 2011 now at this ripe young age, but the smart buyer will pick up a case or three hold this six to eight years and taste it to see how the tannins and fruit mellows over time.  I’d think this wine would cost at least twice as much for the quality, so enjoy it before everyone starts to stockpile and drive the prices up.

Clos de Savignac

About the winemaker: Jean-Claude Mas is a fourth generation winemaker who began work with his family’s winemaking at the age of three. He ascended to run the family business (begun in 1892) in 2000, and has expanded the acreage and updated the technology to mass production, including pneumatic pressers and stainless tanks. The brand Arrogant Frog are among his most visible successes and he has been named International Mediterranean Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young and the Domain Paul Mas was named Winery of the Year by England’s The Guardian Newspaper under his helm.

Jean-Claude Mas - Chai à barriques (1)

Paul Mas wines are carried nationwide by BevMo and other fine wine retailers. In the NYC area Paul Mas wines can be found at Beacon Wines & Spirits, London Terrace Liquor Shop, Phillipe Wine & Liquor, and 120 Wine & Liquor to name a few locations in Manhattan.

More about Domain Paul Mas can be found at their website,  www.PaulMas.com.

à votre santé!

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