Thursday, December 12, 2019

Château des Crès Ricards 2017 Stécia, Terrasses du Larzac

SteciaLanguedoc, located in the south of France, produces flavorful wines at a great price point. We pop open the cork to find a pleasant surprise.

Champion of Sud de France

Jean-Claude Mas can certainly be considered the champion of France’s southern wine regions. The founder of Domaines Paul Mas, he is carrying on a family tradition that dates back to 1892 when his grandfather bought the first family vineyard.

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Today Domaines Paul Mas encompasses a number of different labels. Mas has developed what started as a 61-acre gift from his father into an enterprise than spans more than 1,800 acres in the heart of Languedoc wine country.

The region is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the south and mountains in the north. Temperate conditions contribute to thriving agriculture. More than 45 different grape varieties are available for Domaine Paul Mas wines.

In the past Languedoc has been regarded as a fountain of unremarkable wines. Winemakers in the region today are turning heads with their bottles. Mas has been a leading advocate for the region and its wines.

Silky Stécia

Upon uncorking, Stécia came on strong. At 14.5% ABV, this is a big wine. This  surprised me since many Languedoc wines are simple and a bit meek.

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Stécia is a blend of 60% Syrah, 25% Grenache, and 15% Carignan. The Syrah, grown in pebbly soil on steep, terraced vineyards, leads with power. After opening up, the finer points of this wine are on display with a delicate interplay between the three grapes.

The wine has a unique aging regimen, with 45% of the wine getting eight months of oak aging in French and American barrels. The barrels range from new to two-year old. Carbonic maceration is used for the Syrah and Carignan.

We found the wine to be complex and rewarding, especially at a $19.99 SRP. The flavors are deep with blackberry notes and herbal undertones. This is an outstanding French wine available for a song. Pair it with a nice steak, grilled lamb or a casual evening with friends.

Full disclosure: This wine was received as a marketing sample.

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