Mas de Gourgonnier Rouge 2018
Grenache, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cinsault, Carignan, Mourvèdre | 13% | In the interest of full disclosure I must confess a profound love for the Cartier family and their vinous heritage in Les Baux de Provence. This wine which might have been the first served to me out at a long bygone restaurant long ago and long before I was of age to drink in this puritan country is nothing short of singular. My first glimpse of such stalwart terroir and the wondrous merits of organic viticulture, it struck me in that lasting way only our most insightful teachers wield. Implicit trust and nostalgia aside, it remains special most of all because it remains a marvel unto itself.
Awash in garrigue -that catch all term employed by the French to describe the scents and flavors that rise in the reds of the south and Grenache in particular, this swoons the senses with white pepper, rose petals, herbs de Provence, thyme and rosemary and in a sensually suggestive way that evokes roasts and sopping up meat pan juices with crusty bread really unbridling one's appetite and zeal. This is a visceral wine, not merely for its evocative affinity to food but that it hails from an organic farm that grows as many olive trees as grape vines and which is surrounded by organic vineyards to boot; of the thirteen growers in Les Baux de Provence only one is not certified organic (tut tut...). Mas de Gourgonnier never once sees any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Perhaps its neighboring crops impart that fragrant flavor of green olive that gives this away in a blind tasting. Wherever its source I adore it. This is a product of place and after tasting this in situ which comes highly recommended forever after every sip you encounter summons the unrelenting Mistral winds howling over the jagged Alpilles mountains that rise from the Mas de Gourgonnier groves and vine rows.
In terms of tasting notes, I would say this vintage is a touch brighter than the previous but then again this living wine has a living arc in which they all begin spiritedly but take on richer darker more mellow fruit and smoke over time as all things fall into place and the bright red raspberry calms into plums and blackberries. Even so this retains a sound structure throughout -keeping it a wine for gracing most any table and the fireside alike.
Wine review by Nicholas Livingston, October 6th, 2015 (On a Leaf Day no less!)
Steaks, pasta with meat sauces, sausages the spicier the better. Barbecued ribs or chicken. Burgers and brats.