“It’s fine to say, I like this wine or I don’t, just be able to tell me why.” New York Times Wine Critic, Eric Asimov
Wine professionals are taught the language of wine evaluation and a systematic approach to tasting. When I judge a wine (professionally or at my own table), I’ve found that I have two favorite questions, “is this wine balanced?” and “do I know I want another sip?”
Three French wines were recently sent to me to sample and they each passed my tests with flying colors. When I sniffed, swirled and sipped they continued to impress me with lovely smells, attractive flavors, and long finishes. To me, that’s all that is required of a wine.
The bottles were from Jean-Claude Mas, a winemaker from Southern France whose family tended vines and made wine in the Languedoc region even before the French Revolution. (European wine history is pretty cool.) The winery is Domaines Paul Mas.
Domaines Paul Mas is growing quickly under Jean-Claude’s leadership and at the time of this writing, I see ten different brands on the website. The wines I tasted were all single vineyards; the links to the winemaker’s notes are below:
Domaines Paul Mas, Chateau Paul Mas – Clos de Savignac, Gres de Montpellier 2011 (A blend of Mourvedre, Syrah and Grenache.)
The literature sent to me included this quote, When consumers sip his wines, Jean-Claude’s goal is to create a moment of pure pleasure. When I read that after I tasted these wines, I thought, wow, he nailed it. In addition to insisting that his wine taste good, he is a proponent of premium quality from grape to bottle, environmental stewardship, modern equipment and incorporating New World innovation with century-old expertise. (Thank you Jean-Claude for listing the grapes on the back label!)
The distributor is Palm Bay and while the entire Domaines Paul Mas portfolio isn’t available in the states yet, you can give this article to your favorite wine store and tell them to order it. I’m going to be sending this right over where I shop in Sonoma, Valley Wine Shack.