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Arrogant Frog Croak Rotie Syrah-Viognier 2010
Within a couple of years, Arrogant Frog has made itself the mascot of our Estates. The humble winemaker shows that with creativity, know-how and a sense of humor, we can make Southern French wines shine around the world and give pure pleasure, at a reasonable price! Arrogant Frog represents our South of France “Art de Vivre”. Château Arrogant Frog is made out of 20 hectares (50 acres) in the Limoux grand cru. The Arrogant Frog cuvées are Château Arrogant Frog, Arrogant Frog reserve, as well as single varietal or blends.
Arrogant Frog —a witty nod to the popular term for a Frenchman, Jean-Claude has embraced the stereotype to showcase the outstanding value and style of Languedoc winemaking.
Cabernet Sauvignon vines are 16 to 31 years old and planted on clay, limestone, and gravel soils. Merlot vines are 14 to 33 years old and planted on deep clay and limestone. The terroir consists of 4 elements: soil, climate, type of vines, and the work of winegrowers and oenologists.
Jean-Claude Mas, independent winemaker, fourth generati on grape grower, first generati on winemaker and owner of Domaines Paul Mas, is a leader in fine winemaking in the Languedoc region of the South of France.
An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality and value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Rhône. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.
Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc.
International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.
Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.
Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.
In the Glass
Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.
Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.
Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.