100% Malbec from Pays d’Oc AOP, Languedoc, France.
SRP of $14 and available for as low as $12. Sample submitted for review. Imported by Esprit Du Vin French Wine Merchants/Palm Bay.
From the bottle:
“Paul Mas Estate Single Vineyard Collection wines come from Jean-Claude Mas’s vineyards in the Languedoc region in the South of France.
Gardemiel (which means the place where the honey is kept) is located at 200 km from Cahors, historical birthplace of Malbec grape variety, and 12 000 km from Argentina, where it became the icon grape of the country. In our picturesque vineyard, at the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains, our malbec has a unique profile, with its dark colour, its nice acidity combined with softness, its ripe berry flavours and liquorice notes. This is pure French appeal!
While today Malbec is used mostly as a blend component in France, it used to be grown all over the country. It lost popularity with many grape growers in 1956 when a seriously bad frost killed off up to 75% of the plantings in some areas. Argentina is of course the new Malbec king, but don’t write off France too quickly. In the areas where it is still made into a single varietal wine there are some absolute gems like today’s recommendation.
The 2011 Paul Mas Estate Single Vineyard Collection Gardemiel Vineyard Malbec begins with a tantalizing and complex aroma of black cherry, red licorice, juniper, plum, prune and dried herbs. The wine tastes smooth and delicious with lots of rich tart fruit along with great balance and structure. This is a fantastic bottle of wine for around $12 and shows a great counterpoint to Argentinean Malbec with tons of complexity and depth. A succulent dried herb component along with some nice earthy notes lead into the long finish. Excellent!
Also check out our review of the Chateau Paul Mas Clos des Mures 2011 – So Good They Built A Wall Around The Vineyard.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.
Overall Rating: 8.5
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