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Summary of Grower Visits – Part VIII

THE LANGUEDOC

For those who think these wines are a tad expensive, consider this: that harvest levels are sometimes as low as 20 hectolitres per hectare at these two Mas. Reflect on that when you are considering village level white Burgundy at $600+ per case (rendement frequently 50 to 60 hl/ha). Organic? Both estates fit that category. Distinguished history, groundbreaking work, compelling terroir … the package here is complete.

Mas Cal Demoura:

Weather conditions have not been kind recently here. A 40% loss of production in 2018, 20% below normal in 2017, 20% loss again in 2016.  First impressions of the 2017 reds are that we will see wines of finesse and elegance. The Mourvèdre and Grenache elements were particularly compelling. The 2016 that will arrive next has a slightly higher % of Cinsault (20%) than normal since it did not suffer as much from the drought conditions. The remainder of the “Terre de Jonquieres” cuvée is 20% Grenache, 35% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre and 10% Carignan. This is a rather open-knit wine with a smoky, meaty mien and tannins more supple than usual. The “Combariolles”, on pure limestone, has 20% Carignan in the blend for the first time. It marries to 35 Syrah, 25 Mourvèdre, 10 Grenache, 10 Cinsault. This is a dynamic wine with lots of verve, lovely persistence and quite fine. A wine of excellent potential.

Mas Jullien:

Olivier Jullien  constantly tinkers with his assemblages. In brief, the “Rougeots2017 will have Carignan from Jonquieres, some Mourvèdre and then some Syrah and  Carignan from another vineyard I believe is referred to as “Les Pensieres” (that could be apocryphal). It makes for a rather round and supple affair. There are two ‘16s:  “La Brune” which is elegant and supple; and, “Autour de Jonquieres “ a rather different animal … quite sauvage, rich and tannic … quite surely a vin de garde in the great Mas Jullien tradition.

I note in passing that Kerry opened a 2007 Mas Jullien red recently and it was singing, an aromatic tour de force that danced joyously on the palate. Thank goodness for Olivier Jullien and his never ceasing commitment to his terroir.