Friday, April 5, 2019

Côté Mas Offers Duo Of Winning French Rosé

Ready or not, spring is here—with unpredictable rainstorms, fragrant flowers and delicious French rosé.

Rosé Aurore from Côté Mas - Photos by Dave Nershi

Wine From The South Of France

Domaines Paul Mas is a leading wine producer in Sud de France, with nearly 2,000 acres of vines in this southern region that hugs the Mediterranean. Jean-Claude Mas is considered a pioneer of new French wines from this region and his domains feature 45 different grape varieties.

We recently tasted a pair of rosé wines from his Côté Mas label, the Crémant de Limoux Rosé and Rosé Aurore 2018. Côté Mas is the well regarded restaurant of the Domaines Paul Mas and exemplifies their credo of Luxe Rural, or rural luxury.

The Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé was opened during a particularly frustrating evening. We were working to put together and install a new chandelier. With myriad chrome and crystal pieces, it was one complicated task. My wife and I decided to set aside the work until tomorrow and uncork the Crémant.

A Crémant Sparkler

This is a spirt-lifting wine that is 70% Chardonnay, 20% Chenin Blanc and 10% Pinot Noir. Grapes come from the Limoux wine region, located in the eastern foothills of the Pyrénées in southern France. Nearby is the St. Hilaire Abbey, where in 1531 the monks discovered sparkling wine – preceding Champagne by more than a century.

Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé

The Crémant is created in the traditional method, the same as Champagne, with a second fermentation in the bottle. In fact, we’ve found that French Crémant is an excellent alternative to Champagne, usually costing far less. The Côté Mas Crémant costs about $16.

The Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé offers everything you could want in a sparkling wine. The perlage is frothy and the wine an orange-tinged pink in the glass. This is finished in the Brut style, not sweet, but not excessively dry. On the palate, there are flavor notes of peach and citrus. Lovely!

Luxe Rural

The Rosé Aurore features an artful rendition of a country picnic on the label. Rural luxury indeed! The casual vibe continues from the bottle to the glass.

The blend is a traditional one for southern France, Grenache (50%), Cinsault (30%) and Syrah (20%). The appellation is the wide-ranging Pays d’Oc. The wine is aged on lees for 40 days in cement vats with regular stirring.

In the glass the Rosé Aurore has a deep salmon color. We’ve found this wine to contrast with the rosé from Provence. The Côté Mas has more body and complexity, perhaps due to the lees aging. It is richer by comparison flowing with cherry and floral flavors. We really like this wine and it is quite a value at about $11.

Both wines pair wonderfully with food, especially lighter dishes, seafood and cheeses. The wines of Paul Mas continue to impress with flavor and quality at reasonable prices.

Full disclosure: These wines were received as a marketing sample.

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