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A Pair from Mas de Gourgonnier

The Cartier family have been producing wine and olive oil on their Mas de Gourgonnier estate for decades.  The vineyards have been certified organic for just as long and is proudly detailed on the labels.  Most people are familiar with the Rouge that is presented in the traditional squat wine bottle.  Less commonly seen is the Reserve de Mas.  This wine is a blend of equal parts Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon that is aged in large oak casks.  My one previous experience with the Reserve de Mas came in the form of the 2007 vintage.   I had never this wine before so I paid dearly for one bottle as described in my post The Spices and Herbs of Mas de Gourgonnier.

The estate is located south of Avignon where it is hot, dry, and windy.  This region produces wines distinct from the familiar flavors of the Southern Rhone.  The wines of Mas de Gourgonnier always exhibit dried herbs but the Reserve de Mas adds complexity from its earthy notes.   The dry flavors are intertwined with acidity, lower alcohol, and incredibly fine tannins.  The structure becomes evident in the aftertaste suggesting this wine will develop for several years to come.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2011 Mas de Gourgonnier, Les Baux de Provence – $16
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is a blend of 35% Grenache, 18% Syrah, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 24% Carignan.   Alcohol 13%.  The nose bore lighter aromas of dried herbs.  There was a gentle introduction of flavor with black and red fruit.  The flavors were lighter in body but there was some weight and ripeness.  The wine became drier towards the finish where it mixed with herbs and black fruit.  There was a very fine structure.  With air the wine took on an orange- lift.  **(*) 2014-2020.

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2010 Mas de Gourgonnier, Reserve du Mas, Les Baux de Provence – $22
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  Alcohol 13%.  There were earthy, dry red fruit flavors that were dry in a sense and made lively by salivating acidity.  The structure existed as incredibly fine tannins that dried the mouth.   There were dried herbs and a little vintage perfume.  Black fruit flavors developed with air that were entwined with acidity before the tannins returned in the aftertaste.  *** 2015-2024.

Lovely French Wines

February 5, 2013 Leave a comment

We continue to taste a variety of wines at home despite the various tasting I have attending over the last month.  The three wines featured in this post were particularly good.  The Domaine Hauvette is in a beautiful spot right now but should last for some time.  On the other hand the Chateau Sainte Anne is in a tight, clamped down phase.  I was a bit disappoinated the first night but on the second night it turned around to our delight.  Do keep this in your cellar.  The Domaine du Gros ‘Noré is also young but it is completely drinkable with several hours of air.  It will be certainly develop in the cellar but has very attractive flavors.  Jenn could barely resist keeping the leftovers for the following night.  The Domaine Hauvette and Chateau Ste Anne were purchased at Chambers Street Wines.  The Domaine du Gros ‘Noré was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

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2006 Domaine Hauvette, Le Roucas, Les Baux de Provence – $22
Imported by Louis/Dressner Selections.  This is a blend of roughly 50% Grenache and 50% Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. It was fermented with indigenous yeast then aged for one year in 20-30year old oak barrels.  Only a little sulphur is used in bottling.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is a light to medium ruby with a touch of age.  The light nose reveals red fruit, herbs, a touch of tobacco.  It became lighter on the second night.  The mouthfilling red fruit mixes with herbs and has levity.  There are more dried herbs, gentle weight, acidity, and some density.  The finish is lifted and followed by a very good aftertaste where there are some spicy and ripe, drying tannins.  *** Now-2018.

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2005 Chateau Sainte Anne, Bandol –
Imported by Fruit of the Vines.  This wine is a blend of 60% Mourvedre with the rest Cinsault and Grenache.  It was fermented in non-temperature controlled stainless steel vats.  It was aged for 20-22 months in very old foudres.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose is light with black and red fruit, then with air, black fruit and herbs.  In the mouth there is some density to the fruit along with fine+ drying tannins from the beginning.  There is good watering acidity with tannins that dry and coat the lips in the finish where there are tight, licorice flavors.  The aftertaste brings black fruit, dried herbs, and spice.  This drank much better on the second night with dry red fruit, savory flavors, and coating tannins.  **(*) 2017-2028.

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2009 Domaine du Gros ‘Noré, Bandol – $36
Imported by Kermit Lynch.  This wine is a blend of 80% Mourvedre, 15% Grenache, and 5% Cinsault sourced from 30 year old vines on clay soils.  It was aged for 18 months in oak foudres.  Alcohol 15%.  The nose reveals fresh berries.  In the mouth there are focused flavors of sweet, spiced fruit along with flavors evocative of tropical fruit.  The interesting profile starts off a bit hard but responds well to air.  After 2-3 hours it becomes savory, grapey, and purple towards the finish where it is somewhat incensed.  ***(*) Now-2025.

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The Spices and Herbs of Mas Gourgonnier

July 12, 2012 2 comments

While I have only drunk a few vintages of Mas de Gourgonniere the distinctive squat bottles of the les Baux de Provence became etched into my memory many years ago.  This cuvee has been available in Washington, DC for quite some time.  New to me was the Reserve du Mas in its traditional bottle.  We recently drank both of these wines which are from different vintages purchased from both coasts.  As different as the bottles purport they both do an excellent job of similarly reflecting the estate.  And to me that is a sense of lightness in aspect combined with an effusive array of herbs, spices, and florals.  Though I have a preference for the Reserve at more than twice the cost I recommend you start with les Baux de Provence.  For those curious the later will not disappoint.  The les Baux de Provence is available at MacArthur Beverages and the Reserve du Mas is available at Champion Wine Cellars in Seattle.

2010 Mas de Gourgonniere, Les Baux de Provence – $16
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is a blend of 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 31% Grenache, 22% Syrah,  and 15% Carignan.  The nice nose reveals herbs and whisky scents.  In the mouth this light to medium bodied wine has a sense of lightness yet provides expansive flavors of subtle dried herbs and black tea.  The black tea is pervasive, in a pleasing way, and is carried forward with a minerally, almost metallic, wave.  There is salivating acidity in the mouth and very fine, drying tannins.  *** Now-2019.

2007 Mas de Gourgonniere, Reserve du Mas, les Baux de Provence – $38
Imported by North Berkely Imports.  This wine is a blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon which was matured in very big casks.  The nose reveals blue fruits and garrigue.  In the mouth this medium bodied wine tastes of blue fruit, spices, an old wood note, and fine drying tannins.  There is a sense of lightness.  The aftertaste bears spices and incense which are lifted and expansive in the mouth.  With air it become a touch minty fresh along with lots of herbs, juniper, and botanicals.  *** Now-2017.