Program note: I started this post last week with the intention of publishing ASAP because of the timeliness of the subject, however, reality often eclipses intention. June is #Winestudio’s annual month of Rosé, so technically I’m still on time!
is was National Rosé Day so it’s only natural #Winestudio’s June program feature Rosé. To kick off a month of Rosé education, the first week featured a portfolio of wines from Domaines Paul Mas with vigneron, Jean-Claude Mas, as guide. In 2000, Jean-Claude left a career in motorsports to restructure his family’s declining vineyard estate into a viable winemaking business. He has worked hard to cultivate a wine style focused on a philosophy of “the simple pleasures of life” and has built a wine empire in France’s Languedoc region with their wine exported to 61 countries.
“Luxe Rural sums up our culture and philosophy. With the greatest respect for our rural roots, we aim for perfection. Our wines are the result of our mission to inspire real emotions.” ~ Vigneron Jean-Claude Mas
With the philosophy of Luxe Rural in mind, we tasted through three different rosés; two still wines and a sparkler. Now is when the education part of #Winestudio kicks in – I had to revisit the meaning ‘free run juice’ which led me to an inner dialogue about my lack of formal wine certification/qualifications and how basically the fact is I’m only a wine drinker. I run on intelligence guided by experience. What am I saying? The following is focused more on the specs of these wines than the taste so it might be drier than usual. Although, the taste was a very pleasant experience and is further changing my views of Rosé.
To get the party started, we popped a sparkler:
- 70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc, 10% Pinot Noir (Personally, in my palate’s opinion, chardonnay is more pleasant when she brings friends along to temper her buttery personality.)
- Production is by Methode Traditionelle – Primary fermentation is in stainless steel vats with a blend of sugar and yeast, “Liqueur de Tirage” added before bottling. The bottles are placed upside down to gather the lees in the neck and aged a year. The bottlenecks are then frozen to trap the lees in an ice plug which is easily removed. The bottles are re-sealed and aged a second year.
- Limoux is often cited as the oldest sparkling wine region in France.
- Don’t you think sparklers make excellent introductions to the world of Rosé?
- The grapes are de-stemmed and the varieties: Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah – are vinified separately.
- The Cote Mas Rose Aurore is made with only free run juice. Free run juice is the juice pressed out from the sheer weight of the grapes stacked on top of each other into the winepress. This juice is treasured for it’s characteristics of purity, freshness and clarity of flavor. Wines made from free run juice are bottled under a separate label and often at a higher price point.
- The Aurore ferments for 3 weeks at 17*C in stainless steel and then aged on its lees in new cement vats with regular pump-overs. Pump-over – a technique used to increase optimal extraction of color and flavors. Also known as remontage, the wine is pumped up from the bottom of the tank and splashed over the top of the fermenting grape skins, seeds and stems; the purpose is to submerge the skins so that carbon dioxide is pushed to the surface of the must and released.
- This free run juice is widely available at the astronomical price $11.
Arrogant Frog Rose 2016 Languedoc ($10)
- 100% Syrah and nicknamed ‘Lily Pad Pink’
- The Arrogant Frog has become the mascot of Domaines Paul Mas Estate wines.
- It had a rich body and weight to it with lovely strawberries. (That’s all I’ll say.)
- Protected by a pine forest, the vines grow in a gravel, clay and limestone soil wrapped in a Mediterranean climate.
The Arrogant Frog was the only wine I had time to plan a proper menu pairing so I decided to try my hand at homemade street tacos. The spices paired really well! The Frog was my favorite of the three.
There is so much more I could share with you about these luxe Roses besides them being simply affordable but I think I’ve already loaded you down with enough information. Plus my goal isn’t to cause your eyes to glaze over! I’ll leave you with this: Domaines Paul Mas makes a lovely range of rosés. Let me know if you try one! Adieu.
Disclosure: I received these wine media samples as a participant of the online wine educational program #Winestudio. All ramblings are my own.