2006 Mas Amiel Notre Terre

Mas Amiel Notre Terre

When you talk about superb wines from Maury, a postage-stamp sized area within the Rivesaltes appellation, one name comes to mind: Mas Amiel. The current success of this historic estate is largely due to the genius and commitment of Olivier Decelle, who built an empire on the basis of packaged food in France, then shifted into wine production.

Mas Amiel
Mas Amiel

Maury's extreme climate--hot, arid summers and cold, harsh winters--lends itself to biodynamic methods; ripeness and intensity are easy to achieve, finesse and backbone much harder. Decelle is rapidly returning the estate to its past glories through reducing yields and modernizing production techniques.

"Notre Terre" is largely fashioned from hand-harvested, low-yielding old-vine Grenache, blended with a splash of Syrah and Mourvedre. This blend is aged for 12 months in barrel, a small percentage of which is new wood. Notre Terre's seductive aromas reveal sweet black cherries intermingled with cassis liqueur. Medium-bodied and juicy, this wine has wonderful sorbet-like primary fruit qualities today, and will age into something considerably more structured and cerebral over the next 5-7 years.

Try this wine with Provencal lamb or rabbit. Or pair it with a semi-hard cheese like Ossau-Iraty from the Pyrenees.