Provence in a bottle. For more than 30 years, the Cartier family of Mas de Gourgonnier has dug their organic roots deep in the stony soils of Mouriés in Les Baux de Provence and produced red blends so convincing that you can’t help but agree—life tastes better in the south of France. It’s both true and a bit trite that Mas de Gourgonnier was one of the region’s first, purely organic estates, and yet today, it’s one of its last family-run wineries. Luc, Lucienne and daughter Eve live and breathe organic winemaking, and the moment you turn up the estate’s winding dirt road you get a visceral sense of what paradise could be on earth. The intoxicating, penetrating aromas of rosemary, thyme and lavender—the fabled herbs de Provence—fill the warm air. Cover crops (in blinding mustard yellows and white wildflowers) alternate between rows of Grenache and Syrah, protecting vines from pests. Bees buzz, cicadas cry, sparrows cut precise circles in the pristine blue sky. This is nature—honest and purely Provençal—that renews itself in cooperation with the guiding hand of the winemaker, and not with a lazy chemical two-by-four. The centerpiece of all this organic purity is the estate’s Rouge—a hearty, spicy red blend that is handmade from field to cellar, perfectly balanced, contains refreshingly low added sulfur and what’s more, surprises us every year with its uncanny ability to age.
42%Grenache, 20% Syrah, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Carignan This is the lowest percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in a long time, to enhance fruit and soften tannins. Displays a crisp core of red plum, spiced cherry and wild currant flavors.
The spice in Grenache makes it a perfect pairing buddy to spiced and herb foods including roasted meats, vegetables and many ethnic foods. Alcohol is a solvent to capsacin, which is the heat unit in spicy foods. A high-alcohol Grenache can help reduce the burn of spicy food.