Andrew Guard

2016 Vin de France Rouge '7 rue de la Pompe', Mas Coutelou

2016 "7 Rue de la Pompe" (Syrah/Grenache) - Syrah from the Languedoc with a little Grenache. Wonderfully vivid and meaty with peppery raspberry and cherry fruit on the nose. The palate is grippy and firm but has lovely purity and focus. Brooding, spicy, meaty and backward. Lovely structure and purity! There is often a faint fizz when you open a bottle of Mas Coutleou (dissolved CO2 as preservative) and there is indeed a little in this - fear not though it dissipates fast and this really is super stuff.

I first heard about the talents of Jean Francois Coutelou some 5 years ago but have, up until now, not been able to bring his brilliant wines to Australia. He produces some of the finest quality and best value wines in the Languedoc and has lots of interest in his modest production which is no wonder as he makes wines full of brightness, freshness and vitality in a region where the vast majority of it's wines are prone to flatness and dulness.

The vines at Mas Coutelou are beautifully taken care of and all by hand. The estate is planted to Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre & Cinsaut for red wines and Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Blanc a Petite Grains & Viognier for the whites. He has recently planted some Grenache Gris, Macabeu, and grafted some Clairette musqué and Carignan blanc.  

The vinification is meticulous and adapted every season; short or long maceration, carbonic maceration, punching down or pumping all depends on the vintage and variety. Selected yeasts have never been used and the use of SO2 is limited, or non-existent in some years when it is possible.The bottling is done at the estate, without filtration and by gravity, a final but very important mark of quality.    I adore these wines because they show the benefits of working naturally (terroir, freshness,vitality) and taste extraordinarily delicious.