Deep yellow color; melon, mango, pineapple, yeast, vanilla on very vivid nose; tropical fruit medley with mango in the lead, peach, apple, lemon, oak spice on the palate.
Dry; medium body, rich and creamy in the mouth, soft acidity, nice minerality and satisfyingly long finish. Blend of 40% vermentino, 30% roussanne, 20% grenache, 10% viognier, thus its richness and depth in both aromas and flavors. All grapes come from the Belluguette vineyard in Languedoc in southeastern France. Fermentation occurs in oak barrels for one month; 50% undergoes malolactic fermentation, giving it the blend smoothness without it spilling into milk or cream. Final wine ages four months in two-thirds French barrels and one-third American, giving it the oak spice, vanilla, and toast notes.
Château Paul Mas is located in the Languedoc between Pézenas and Montpellier, just six miles from the Mediterranean. The Languedoc has produced wine since the time of Christ. The Château Paul Mas story began in 1892 in St. Pons de Mauchiens, near Domaine de Nicole, where the Château is located—the extended family today owns more than 1,100 acres of vineyards. Jean-Claude Mas started Domaines Paul Mas in 2000 on 42 acres of family land.
The winery website notes Jean-Claude escaped from his mother at age three to join his grandfather in the wine cellar. He studied economics and advertising at university, and wine became a hobby, but an active one. He created a wine club in northern France (far away from his Languedoc roots), an import company in England, and an import company for organic wines in Miami that brought in French wine and food products. He also was a professional automobile racer for three years.
Jean-Claude then returned to his first love. He first worked in Bordeaux; in the mid-1990s he began blending his family wines at Nicole Estate. He often is described as a pioneer in the New Languedoc—the ongoing movement to take the region from being a “wine lake” of mediocre stuff into its new era of higher quality, affordable wine. Fortunately, this new emphasis is succeeding, just as similar efforts are succeeding in other regions such as the Central Coast of California. The days of carelessly-made swill are passing away at many places, to the joy of wine drinkers everywhere.
Paul Mas emphasizes sustainable viticulture, is certified Terra Vitis and organic, and follows biodynamic wine production practices in select vineyards. Click here for column on organic vineyards. Click here for column on biodynamic viticulture. The winery and vineyard also is a showcase for local and national artists and craftspeople. The website is worth a visit for its photography and videos.
Domaines Paul Mas Château Paul Mass Belluguette Blanc 2016 is a delicious white blend with softness and flavors that will appeal across wide range of wine lovers. It is further demonstration of the sophistication, quality, and value Paul Max delivers from the Languedoc. Will work well as an aperitif with its rich flavors and appeal to range of tastes; pair with white meats, garden salads with some fruit elements, wide range of fish thanks to its medium weight. $15-20