Getting behind the label and spending time with the winemaker always adds a new level of pleasure to each sip. Guided by Jean-Claude Mas, I recently had the chance to take my tastebuds on a delicious journey to the Languedoc region of Southern France. We may have been in Manhattan but his Domaines Paul Mas wines transported me to Mediterranean vineyards.
A view of the vineyards and the ancestral home Château de Conas. This has been the Mas family home for more than 1,000 years.
A fourth generation winemaker, at the tender age of three Jean-Claude Mas began helping his father Paul and grandfather Raymond in the cellars of their estate. The family has been making wines since 1892 and Jean-Claude assumed the helm at Domaines Paul Mas in 2000 and his modern approach to winemaking has earned him many accolades - including being recognized as one of the Top 30 Winemakers of Tomorrow by France's esteemed L'Express Magazine and Winery of the Year by the UK's The Guardian. Jean-Claude's winemaking is influenced by his philosophy of Luxe Rural (Rural Luxury) and he is committed to crafting wonderful wines at affordable prices that stimulate the senses and emotions.
If you're new to Domaines Paul Mas wines, I would like to recommend one white & one red to get you started. I am certain that once you start exploring their lovely and expressive Languedoc wines, you'll want to taste more and their affordability makes it easy to do so!
Paul Mas Estates Picpoul de Pinet 2011
Picpoul - the name of this perky little grape just rolls off the tongue and the taste is just as vivacious. One of the oldest Languedoc grapes, Picpoul has great appeal for modern palates. Expect vibrant citrus with notes of lemon and grapefruit balanced by a bit of minerality. This wine is a perfect pairing with oysters and other shellfish. This cool sip is perfect for the spring and summer season.
Domaines Paul Mas GSM 2011
For a regal red that won't break the bank, give Paul Mas Estate GSM 2011 a try. A blend of Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvedre, it satisfies the craving for a wine that is a bit more complex but still approachable. Expect notes of dark & lush berries with a hint of spice and a subtle earthiness. This would be perfect with grilled meats, BBQ and aged cheeses.
If you're planning a trip to Languedoc, make a visit to Château Paul Mas and dine at their restaurant Côté Mas. The restaurant showcases the cuisine of Chef Taichi Megurikami and, of course, all dishes are perfectly paired with Domaines Paul Mas wines. Originally from Japan, Chef Megurikami brings a modern approach to the cuisine of Languedoc. Côté Mas is the #1 rated restaurant in the area on Trip Advisor.
For more information, visit the Domaines Paul Mas website and Facebook page.