The Dozen Vol. 25 No. 05 Wine

The Dozen – More Mas!

Jean-Claude Mas makes value wines from the South of France and adds a soupcon of charisma.

Over the past few years, it’s been interesting to watch Jean-Claude Mas build and vitalize the Paul Mas brand – or should we say “brands,” as there are more than one. I have had the opportunity to have one-on-one interviews with Mas a couple of times and see him in a recent Zoom session – and I’ve always been impressed by his charisma, business sense, and ability to make no-apology value wines.

Mas operates in the lovely area known as the Sud de France, emphasizing Languedoc, although he keeps spreading out from the Pyrenees to the Alps, it seems. Like most winemakers, he would likely put up an argument for terroir. There is a skill in growing or finding grapes in areas that are not so expensive and then knowing how to produce enjoyable and very affordable wines.

Here are five of the Côté Mas brand. But don’t forget the other seven wines of interest which follow.

2019 Côté Mas Sud de France Sauvignon Vermentino (1 liter/$10). Full-bodied, a little soft in texture with a lightly sweet, floral fruitiness.

NV Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Brut ($16). Sixty percent Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc, this bubbly has very nice creaminess with fresh herbs and both green and sweet apple flavors and a nice mouth feel – a definite wine to try if you aren’t familiar with Limoux.

NV Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé Brut ($16). Creamy strawberry flavors – rounded, not austere – with a long finish.

2020 Côté Mas “Aurore” Sud de France Rosé (1 liter/$8). Lightish in flavor with subtle fresh strawberries and a hint of tannins.

2019 Côté Mas Sud de France Syrah Grenache (1 liter/$10). Well done – very fruity with both red and black berry flavors held in check by good acidity and light tannins.

2020 Los Vascos Valle de Colchagua Chardonnay ($10). Tarter and fresher than most Chards, with very juicy apple and lime notes.

2020 Los Vascos Valle de Colchagua Sauvignon Blanc ($10). Light-bodied, puckery, grassy, tart-green fruits.

2020 Amalaya Salta Torrontes Riesling ($11). From northwest Argentina, it has bold aromatics, but a light body with stone fruit and creamy flavors and a dry finih.

2019 Paragon “Tangent” Edna Valley Sauvignon Blanc ($16). In the New Zealand style – grassy, mildly pungent, straight-line acidity.

2020 Invivo X SJP Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc ($17). The SJP is for Sarah Jessica Parker, and there are some sweaty aromas that fruity Sauvignons tend to have, but the wine itself is complex and lively with apple, lime and kiwi flavors.

2017 Sullivan Vineyards “Coeur de Vigne” Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon ($90). Lovely aromas of crushed blueberries and great muddled flavors of blackberries and blueberries with a chalkiness and flavorful tannins in the finish.

2017 Gamble Family “Paramount” Napa Valley Red Wine ($92). Delicious – simply a very harmonious blending of rich, dark-berry fruitiness with flavorful savory notes and smooth tannins.

Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com. As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.

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