Country: France Region: Roussillon Vintage: 2014
Producer: Mas de Lavail
"Five generations of the Batlle family have been growing grapes in Maury. Jean Batlle developed his love for grape growing and winemaking while following his father around the vineyards at a young age. Today, his son Nicolas works with him and is responsible for the winemaking. Father and son purchased an old domaine in 1999 and renamed it Mas de Lavail. It is located at the foothills of the Pyrenees, below the Cathar Château de Quéribus.
The family has seven hectares of vineyards of 40 to 50 year old Grenache Noir for Maury Vin Doux Naturel (VDN) planted at 150-250 metres altitude. The soils are poor, consisting of limestone and grey and brown schist. The poor soils, and the age of the vines, result in yields as low as 20 hectolitres per hectare.
Once in the winery, the Grenache is fermented with indigenous yeasts in a combination of temperature controlled stainless steel and cement tanks. The fermentation is stopped by the addition of neutral spirit once 9-10% alcohol is reached, resulting in a vin doux naturel of 15% ABV and 90g/l of residual sugar. After fermentation, the Maury was left on its skins for another three weeks before being put into bottle. The wine is generous on the nose with ripe blackberries, dried figs, fine round tannins, fresh acidity and balanced sweetness. It is best served slightly chilled at 12°C and paired with dishes ranging from duck in cherry sauce to blue cheese and chocolate desserts."
Winemaker: Nicolas Batlle
Domaine Mas de Lavail is a family vineyard of 80 hectares located in Maury, the upper valley of Agly. This wonderful narrow site of black schist is nestled between the foothills of the Pyrenees, at the foot of the Cathar castle Quéribus at altitude of 150-200m. It gives wines that are powerful, well-structured and rich in aromas, tannins and colour. The vines are 40 years old and yield 20 hectolitres per hectare.
Picked by hand, the grapes are totally de-stemmed before being placed in vats where fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature of 28°C. Fermentation is stopped in the middle of the 'solid' phase in mid-fermentation by adding neutral grape spirit. Alcoholic maceration continues for another three weeks. The wine is bottled within 12 months of harvest and stored in air conditioned cellars.
Drunk young, this wine offers a wide range of red and black fruit. After a few years it will express every imaginable combination of cocoa, mocha and chocolate. Fine round tannins, fresh acidity and balanced sweetness.
Food Suggestion: Best paired with dishes ranging from duck in cherry sauce to blue cheese and chocolate desserts.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:16.5% Acidity [g/l]: 4.41