A story that began when, in 1816, Raymond Amiel won the deeds to this property from the Bishop of Perpignan over a game of cards. Then a mere 10 hectares, the fortunes of the estate have waxed and waned over the ensuing 200 years. Wiped out by the phylloxera epidemic in the late 19th century, replanted then lost to a wine trade crisis, it was aquired by a certain Charles Dupuy in the early 20th century. It was he who founded the ‘Mas Amiel’ brand, and the family continued to run the estate until the death of his grandson, also Charles, in 1997. The estate is now owned and run by Olivier Decelle who has done much to raise its profile, both qualitatively and commercially, and it is now the leading producer of Vins Doux Naturels in the area.
The 170 hectares of vines, 70% of them Grenache, are grown on the region’s famous black Albien Marl and limestone shales and are treated to a highly reasoned regime, with natural composts and no synthetic pesticides or herbicides. The estate produces three distinct styles; Mas Amiel ‘Vintage’ comprises sweet Red Maurys and White Muscat de Rivesaltes made by the mutage method (see Domaine de Pouderoux) and aged using modern reduced-oxygen methods. The Mas Amiel Vintage, made from 100% Grenache, is rich and sweet with silky black fruit flavours. It is famously delicious with fine dark chocolate.