Mas Amiel - Cotes du Roussillon - Origine - red - 2017 - 750 ml
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WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING
“The 2017 Cotes du Roussillon Villages Origine combines equal amounts of Grenache (planted in 1914), Carignan (1952) and Syrah (1995). It spent over a year in foudre but still comes across as a bit hard and edgy. It's full-bodied, with attractive notes of garrigue and black cherries, with taut, crunchy fruit and some dry, schistous tannins on the finish.” Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate
Mas Amiel is a large property – the biggest private cellar in Maury – located in the heart of the Agly valley, in France’s Roussillon region. This is Cathar country: it’s beautiful but rugged—a hot, rather hostile environment with rocky, stony soils, frequent windy weather, and 260 days’ sunshine a year. Back in 1816, a bishop used one of his plots of land as a bet in a game of cards. He lost it to Raymond Amiel, and this is how Mas Amiel was born. At the time, it only had 10 hectares of vines on it; it has grown substantially since then.
Parcelles, terroir and vine-growing: Origine is a selection of 3 parcels made up of very light rock-laden soils, situated on pure schist, as well as limestone schist, offering good drainage. Representing just under 7 hectares, these 3 parcels, face East, as a result, the grapes remain fresh during the summertime.
Tilled mechanically or with draught horses, the soils offer a highly limited yield. 16 hl/ha are therefore obtained from a plantation density of 4,000 to 5,000 vines/ha.
Grape varieties: Origine is derived from 3 varieties: century old Grenache noir from the Cabirou locality (planted in 1914), Carignan from the Devèze locality (dating back to 1952) and young Syrah from this same climate.
Harvest and winemaking: The harvest is 100% handpicked in 20-kg crates. The grapes are entirely de-stemmed. The parcels are made into wine, terroir by terroir, to highlight the specificity of each one.
The wine is elaborated in 84-hl concrete vats, in view of preserving the fleshy freshness and notes of pure fruit, generally associated with Mas Amiel.
Maturing & blending: The Carignan and Syrah grape varieties are matured for 14 months in 40-hl casks, whereas the Grenache remains in concrete vats. This wine is slightly filtered, but not fined.
Production: 10,000 bottles