I recently took Fine Vintage, Ltd.'s WSET Level 1 course— so I’m learning about wine! Wine is about savoring the moment and paying attention to what we’re consuming.
I’m a history geek. And wine is so steeped in tradition that it makes sense I’d be drawn to it. I’ve decided to start going back and checking out the origins of wines at The Chopping Block that I love. For this Wine Spotlight, it totally made sense to start with the Mas de Gourgonnier. After years of disliking reds, “the Mas,” as we call it, was the first red I fell in love with.
The Mas is a Rhône varietal and very decidedly a blend. It includes Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Carignan. It’s from Provence, which extends from the left bank of the lower Rhône River. The wines of Provence were likely introduced around 600 B.C.E. by the Greeks who founded Marseille and Nice. By the late Roman Empire, many Roman soldiers settled in the area — by then, called Gaul — and began growing grapes. It’s important to remember that wine was initially drunk in lieu of water. This is because water was unsafe, due to bacteria and inefficient ways of purifying water. The majority of Provence’s wineries are known for roses — there’s only one area in Provence, called Cassis, known for its white wines. The particular region in Provence, “Les Baux de Provence” was established as an AOC for red and rosé wines in 1995.
This red should keep for three to five years on the shelf and should be served at about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The vintage we currently have in stock is 2013. It’s also worth noting that this particular vintage has higher concentration of Syrah — this means the wine has a softer texture and a sweeter finish than earlier vintages.
This winery is a certified organic winery; this is a growing trend in the wine industry. In terms of tasting notes, this wine is fruit-forward. For me, when I taste it, I get spiced cherries and plums; there are also hints of ginger and dark chocolate.
Our Sommelier Viktorija Todorovska likes to say, “What grows together goes together.” So, try the Mas with a French cooking class such as Simple French Food, The French Connection, and Celebrating Julia Child. They are all hands-on cooking classes that offer options to learn about French food and pair it with our wine! These classes include dishes like Coq au Vin, Truffle Mashed Potatoes, and much more.