Mas Janeil Les Hauts de Janeil Syrah Rose 2016
Francois Lurton is the fifth generation of his family to be in the wine business in France, as their winemaking roots date back to 1897. Francois started out as Marketing Director of his father's wine company, Andre Lurton in 1985 and moved on to found his own consulting firm with his brother Jacques in 1988. They were endlessly on the search around the world for unique vineyards and terroirs to produce the best possible wine for their customers, which earned them the moniker of the first "flying winemakers." In 2007 they restructured the company and François became the majority shareholder enabling him to work more closely to the winemaking process (both in the vineyards and the cellar) to ensure that the highest level of quality is always delivered.
Mas Janeil landed on Francois' and Jacques' radar in 1996 when they became enamored with the Vallee de l'Agly and its breathtaking landscape prompting them to rent the estate. In 2008 Francois officially purchased Mas Janeil, constructed a new wine storehouse and partially revamped an old irrigation system. Mas Janeil is 59 acres and situated in the commune of Maury in the Roussilon region at the base of a cliff which harbors Chateau de Queribus (Cathar Castle). The estate overlaps a geological fault which allows for an array of different soil types including, schist, granite, limestone and shale. Les Hauts de Janeil selections are made with the same philosophy in mind as the estate Mas Janeil wines but are meant for earlier consumption and crafted with grapes from both the Mas Janeil and neighboring vineyards which are closer to the coast.
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.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. It is produced throughout the world from a vast array of grape varieties, but the most successful sources are California, southern France (particularly Provence), and parts of Spain and Italy.
Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color will depend on the grape variety and the winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta. These wines are typically fresh and fruity, fermented at cool temperatures in stainless steel to preserve the primary aromas and flavors. Most rosé, with a few notable exceptions, should be drunk rather young, within a few years of the vintage.