by Andrew Chalk
I recently received samples of the three wines shown above. I had never had the wines of this producer, Domaines Paul Mas from the southern French region of the Languedoc. I knew the wines of the region were highly variable as it had been regarded as a producer of mainly very ordinary wines up until the last 20 years.
This producer frankly knocked me off my feet. The wines are exceptionally well made, sell at very reasonable prices, and are interesting and unusual grape varieties.
The 2011 Paul Mas Estate Marsanne, La Forge Vineyard has a light minerally nose. A mouth feel of granite. It is distinctive, angular and evidences high acidity. It delivers less fruit than many people will be used to. Serve it with seafood, cream sauce fish dish. Scallops. Price about $13.
The 2011 Paul Mas Estate Picpoul de Pinet, Coteaux de Languedoc has a straw to gold color. A nose of slate and lime, with hints of rosemary. In the mouth the wine is high acid. Medium to medium-heavy mouth feel. Intense flavors wash the mouth. Medium intensity, pleasant finish. An impressive wine from a little-known name. Price about $11.
The 2011 Paul Mas Estate Carignan, Vieilles Vignes, Savignac Vineyard has a blackcurrant color and is opaque and clear. The nose has rose petals, thyme, oregano, blueberries and anthocyanines. The taste has chewy tannins. Time will improve it. Long dark fruit finish. Massive effusive fruit in the mouth. Cedar. A stylish wine that deserves a try. Buy and keep for 2 years or serve with a fatty (rib-eye?) steak right away. Price about $15.