Estate: For over 100 years, the Mas family has been tending to vines and crafting wine at Château de Conas located in the Coteaux de Languedoc, along the Mediterranean coast. After the French revolution, the estate was broken up leaving only the family residence and 68 acres of land. In 2000, 4th generation winemaker Jean-Claude took over and under his direction, the estate has expanded to include 440 acres of vineyards, including Domaines de Nicole and Les Tannes and Astruc and a progressive winery. Jean-Claude also contracts with 80 small family growers that bring an impressive 2000 additional acres under the Mas Domaine. Known for his progressive approach to modern winemaking, raising the perception of Languedoc wines worldwide, his creativity and sense of humour, Jean-Claude has had many accolades bestowed on him; including ‘Winery of the Year’ by The Guardian and Top 30 ‘Winemakers of Tomorrow’ France’s L’Express magazine.
Philosophy: Striving to craft superior wines with a “New World Flair”, Jean-Claude’s mission is to “create a moment of pure pleasure” with every bottle.
Winemaking: Passionate about the environment, Jean-Claude employs Agriculture Raisonne farming methods and takes it steps further by only using organic fertilizers and adapting the 100 acre Les Tannes estate to all organic farming. The same eco-friendly farming methods and emphasis on respecting the environment are applied to all of the vineyards he contracts with.
Tasting Notes: Brilliant garnet in colour with aromas of dark berries and traces of warm summer earth. Fruit forward with blueberry and cherry flavours accented by herbaceous and earthy elements. Soft tannins and black peppercorn comprise the moderate finish. Although a bit of heat remained on the finish after decanting, this is a fun, friendly size bottle and a great value for the table.
45% Grenache, 25% Carignan, 15% Cinsault, 10% Merlot, 5% Syrah
Pays d’Oc IGP
Bottled by Paul Mas
$10 [1 litre]
Enjoy now thru 2016
Winery: Valdibella is an innovative community of farmers dedicated to expressing “the best side of their territory, to offer their best production and to give their best for young people in difficulties.” The cooperative is located in Camporeale, western Sicily and consists of 38 hectares of vineyards divided amongst it’s 6 members. In addition to grapes, the cooperative also cultivates olives and almonds. Recognizing that organic methods are not enough, in 2009 they established “The Charter for Biodiversity”. The program focuses on establishing and preserving biodiversity, creating a natural balance “where the vineyard is integrated with other typical crops: olives, almonds, figs, pomegranates, close to natural areas, woodland, ponds, fallow, hedges, mounds of stones, etc., thereby creating a more stable and balanced agro-ecosystem”.
Winemaking: They are committed to organic and sustainable farming methods, no type of chemical pesticides or fertilizers are used. This carries thru to the winery; they do not use synthetic substances of any kind. Clarification of the wines is done naturally [no gelatin or egg albumin]; instead they make use of low temperature and if necessary use natural clay. Sulphites are added in extremely limited quantities, if at all. Many of their wines are crafted with spontaneous fermentation. “The organic grapes are rich in native yeasts that are perfectly able to carry out the fermentation. Every grape has its own composition of yeasts so that each wine obtained is a true expression of the land that produced it.” The Acamante Perricone was aged for 6 months in new oak and 6 months in used barrels.
Tasting Notes: Inky red-violet in colour, with aromas of cherry, earth and smoky spices. Bright cherry is offset by bone dry tannins along with soft spices and campfire elements on the dry finish. Engaging and unique, with an out of this world dryness that is incredibly fascinating [and wonderful with all types of dishes] this is a grape [and wine!] well worth seeking out.
Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Salumi, grilled meats dressed with herbs & olive oil, and pasta casseroles.
[Bottling details not listed on the label]
$19 [average price]
Estate: Weingut Dürnberg is located in the traditional wine village of Falkenstein, in the heart of Austria’s viticultural region. Vineyards have been documented there since the 12th century, and today it is still known as the “wine quarter”. Native Matthias Marchesani, a pioneer in the “new Weinvertel style”, heads the estate; he strives to craft wines that have “an emphasis on freshness and cool acidity” and “are crystal-clear like a Winter’s night, they demonstrate complexity and finesse as well”. The terroir of the Falkenstein cliffs are made up of limestone and decomposing rocks that were shifted up from strata deep below the earth’s surface, lending the “cool character” to his wines. This Rosé is part of the “Drink and Enjoy” line of the estate, wines that are “full flavoured, lower in alcohol” to be enjoyed as an aperitif, with light dishes or “with good friends”.
Philosophy: “What the terroir gives to the grapes is carefully and most lovingly preserved and presented.”
Winemaking: Sustainable viticulture is practiced.
Tasting Notes: Pale coral pink in colour with aromas of red grapefruit, peach and hints of crushed white peppercorn. Slightly muddled tart fruit flavours are framed by a bright acidity, with peppery spice on the dry, clean finish. Overall a bright and tangy Rosé that is a good companion to light dishes.
Bottled by Dürnberg Fine Wine GMBH
Enjoy now thru 2016
Estate: Founded by the Ciacci family in the 1950’s, today the estate is headed by Tiziano Ciacci. Along with being one of the 25 Brunello di Montalcino Consortium members, he has also modernized the estate with better ageing capabilities and planted new vineyards that harmonize with nature. The 32 hectare estate is located southwest of the town of Montalcino, on slopes 300-350 meters above sea level facing Castiglione del Bosco. 10 hectares are vineyards, 2 are olive groves and the remainder of the land is given to forest. Tizano’s wines are “prized for their approachability” along with a distinctive, elegant mineralty.
Philosophy: To craft “terroir-driven wines made with precision and love”.
Winemaking: Vineyards are farmed using organic methods. Soils are a mix of galestro and alberese sandstone. Aged for 10 months in stainless steel tanks, 2000 cases made.
Tasting Notes: Garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, leather, white pepper and traces of sweet tobacco. Fruit forward with vibrant cherry flavours backed by earth and peppery spices. Velvety smooth with a delightfully dry finish, this is a wonderful companion with a wide variety of dishes.
80% Sangiovese 20% Canaiolo
Rosso Toscano IGT
Estate Bottled by Azienda Agricola Mocali
Enjoy now thru 2017
Rated 88 points by Wine Spectator
Refreshing and light, a truly tremendous value Rosé from a small family estate in the south of France.
‘From the Tank’ is a collaboration between Jenny & François Selections and various small, natural artisan winemakers that focus on expressing their terrior. Jenny & François Selections is a New York based wine distributor founded in 2000. They focus on small vineyard wines and “winemakers who work like artisans, crafting a different wine each year. They do not impose a preconceived taste on their wines, but look to be surprised by what nature gives”.
Estate: This ‘From the Tank’ Rosé was made exclusively for Jenny & François Selections by Domaine de la Patience, located in the Costières de Nîmes in southeastern France. The family estate takes it name from “La Patience”, a wild aromatic herb that makes its home in the vineyards. Christophe Aguilar farms the 60 hectares of vines, the very same soil that his grandfather respectfully farmed 50 years ago.
Winemaking: The vineyards are certified organic. Grapes were sourced from 21 year old Syrah vines and 40 year old Grenache vines, then aged in concrete vat with minimum sulfur added.
Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with sunny aromas of peach and honey. Bright and light, with peach, strawberry and nectarine flavours culminating in a crisp finish of grapefruit notes.
80% Grenache, 20% Syrah
Vin de Pays du Pont du Gard
[Bottling information not available]
$22 [3L box equivalent to 4 750ML bottles]