Mas de Gourgonnier Les Baux de Provence Rouge 2017
Dark robe with violet hues. In the nose the hot red fruit coulis (raspberry jelly) dominates. Sweet spice notes are present. In the mouth, the wine is very aromatic with notes of red fruits (compote) and spices. The tannins are fine and give a nice roundness.
Pairs well with meat in a sweet sauce, fresh cheese and a red fruit compote.
Yet Mas de Gourgonnier’s organic roots go back even further. Since the eighteenth century, the Cartier family has worked these fields, providing the local abbey with freshly grown fruits, vegetables and grain. It was in the 1950s when the family planted its first vines.
The rest, as it is said, is history. Here in Mouries, you’ll find a direct, unadulterated connection between the land and each bottle. The earthy aromas of flowering rosemary, wild sage and juniper and the mountain freshness of the cooling "mistral" winds are all echoed in the estate's organically raised wines.
Mas de Gourgonnier has been a North Berkeley partner for more than 25 years. In this unassuming, rugged appellation, the integrity and consistency of the family's philosophy and products mirrored our own as an importer. This is a vine-growing family that doesn't have to "sell" a natural philosophy; it's simply who they are, and who they've always been.
This purity of focus and flavor is still true today. Mas de Gourgonnier is one of the bedrock estates in southern France and certainly one that has few peers.
Uniquely dedicated to red wine production in a sea of rosé-producing regions, tiny Les Baux-de-Provence (325 hectares) is based geographically on an ancient hilltop village and viticulturally on natural farming methods. As a point of regional pride that most vignerons work their vines without artificial pesticides or fertilizers, this commitment shows itself in the high-quality, full-bodied, intriguing red blends, which make up two-thirds of the region’s production. Earthy and complex, Les Baux-do-Provence reds rival their celebrated Rhône Valley cousins. The blend takes advantage of Grenache’s jolly berry fruit, Syrah’s spicy cherry and the brooding plum of Mourvèdre. Rosé, the signature wine of Provence, is not forgotten, and the garrigue brings a lip-smacking savor to the bottles.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.