First saw wine made at age 7, became a Master Gardner and now my favorite plant is Vitis vinifera. Published wine reviewer, teach wine appreciation at the local school district. And at my old age completed some WSET levels just because I love all things wine. I pour wine for various distributors, have worked with chefs pairing wine and food at corporate events and do private home parties too. Between events, I meet with winemakers in various states and countries.
“It doesn’t matter if the glass is
half empty or half full. There is always room for more wine.” … …
I’ve written about some of
Jean-Claude Mas’ other wines before, and today I need to write about another.
Really, I think it’s his fault because Mas is putting out some of the best
product at value prices anywhere in the world today. His wines are quality focused, but casually enjoyable and at value prices. The Languedoc area in which Cote Mas is located is well known among those in
the know for producing excellent value.
The Domaine itself is centuries old and Jean-Claude is the fourth
generation winemaker who took the helm of Domaine Paul Mas in 2000. Since then,
he has expanded the operation beyond the family’s original estate in Montagnac
to now include nine estates across the hillsides of the Languedoc. Grapes are either estate grown or sourced
from long term grower contracts.
Getting ready to taste
His philosophy is labeled (by
himself) as Luxe Rural.” And he defines
it as: “… about finding pleasure from what you see and hear around you. Things
don’t have to be very expensive, (he says) In fact it can be something as
simple as a perfectly ripe peach or a beautiful view.” To those who have enjoyed a ripe, farm fresh peach
at its peak, or viewed a spectacular water sunset, let me say you probably understand
his appreciation for natural perfection. For those whose only experience has
been with peaches that are as hard as shipping cross continent necessitates …
well, you’re in for a treat with this wine.
Jean-Claude Mas (R) and the Wine Mizer. I've lost weight since but haven't gotten any taller!
In 2012, Jean-Claude brought
his “Luxe Rural” philosophy to life with the opening of the Cote Mas Restaurant
at the original winery in Montagnac. With an original farm-to-table menu, Cote
Mas wines were introduced at the restaurant and became so popular that tourists
and travelers wanted to be able to enjoy them at home too. Cote Mas Blanc
Mediterranee is one of those original four wines and is now available
I first tasted this wine in
June and again in August last year and was struck, nay – delighted each time with
its masterful balance and sophisticated nuance.
35% Grenache Blanc, 25% Vermintino, 25% Chardonnay and 15% Sauvignon
Blanc, each grape is vinified separately.
Each enjoys short skin contact, pneumatic pressing and stainless
fermentation to preserve fruit and freshness.
Free run and first press juice only are used in this wine.
In the glass, it shows medium
lemon and offers a wondrously lovely nose of quince, orange pith and
pineapple. Flavors of orange segments emerge
and a hint of lime develops and as the wine finishes lemon develops again but
richly as with lemon curd. The wine finishes cleanly with tastes of citrus and
in well balanced acidity. But what most
impressed me about this wine was its nod to tradition despite its “new world
bent.” This is a wine of finesse and,
despite its citrus character, subtlety.
Nothing is overpowering. Nothing clubs. It has grace notes: Balance in a
classical old world style.
On my own I tasted this
against two popular new world whites in the same price arena. In each
comparison (I won’t mention the brands) I found Blanc Mediterranee to be less
sweet (read that to be not cloying) and with a cleaner finish, making it more
adaptable to meal pairing. In a very well-known and popular white domestic
blend of three grapes, Blanc Mediterranee also came with the advantage of
costing less. As with others of Domaines Paul Mas and Cote Mas, the wines burst
with personality and express their unique terroir. And, in this example, the wine does this at a
suggested retail price of only $12.99 (often available at even less).
Retail shelves here in the U.S.
often look to foreign visitors as over supplied with choices. Indeed,
competition for shelf space is intense. So, at times, I enjoy tasting wines but
they’re tainted with a tinge of regret knowing the wine may be difficult to
track down. In my area, several
Mariano’s (retail grocery) carry this wine. If your favorite liquor store
doesn’t, they may be able to order it for you. The Languedoc region continues
to gain recognition as a source of wines with an outstanding quality to value
ratio. And in 2015, the Drinks International sommelier poll ranked Domaines Paul Mas among
the top 50 most admired wine brands. Mas
wines are imported by Espirit du Vins/Palm Bay.
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