La Forge Estate Viognier 2012
La Forge Estate wines symbolize the fusion of the old and the new worlds of wine, as well as the fusion between carefully selected grapes from the best South of France vineyards and an expressive, round and aromatic style, brightened up by a subtle dose of oak barrel ageing.
Jean-Claude Mas has significantly grown and enhanced Domaines Paul Mas with the acquisition of several carefully selected properties throughout the Languedoc. His portfolio of estates now accounts for over 440 acres of premium vineyards, planted with 25 different varities, including Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier and Chardonnay. Above all else, his vineyards are maintained at the utmost quality so as to yield the highest caliber grapes.
The main part of the vineyard is located on the east of the city of Carcassonne in the Languedoc. Grapes are also harvested from other vineyards located in nearby Limoux and Pézenas. The Syrah vines are grown in the Minervois AOC geographical limits (east of Carcassonne) where the climatic conditions enable the grapes to ripen to the optimal level.
Jean-Claude Mas, independent winemaker, fourth generation grape grower, first generation winemaker and owner of Domaines Paul Mas, is a leader in fine winemaking in the Languedoc region of the South of France. Since taking the helm of the family winery in 2000, he has prioritized sourcing the highest quality grapes from twelve privately owned estates and premier growers in the Languedoc to make wines of authenticity and refinement. The result is a collection of magnificently charming wines that burst forward with the warmth and stunning beauty of the Languedoc.
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.
Full-figured and charmingly floral, Viognier is one of the most important white grapes of the northern Rhône where it is used both to produce single varietal wines and as an important blending grape. Look for great New World examples from California, Oregon, Washington and cooler parts of Australia.