In Puimisson, just north of Béziers in Southwest France, Jean-Francois “Jeff” Coutelou is making natural wines at Mas Coutelou. The winery was one of the first to get organic certification in the Languedoc back in 1987 after a roughly 50 acre parcel had been converted from conventional farming methods. Today these organic and manual farming methods try to reduce environmental and ecosystem impacts in a way that is inspiring for the region.
We are excited to have received four new bottles recently. Today we’ll feature three bottles including: the Le Blanc (2018), which is 80% Macabeu and 20% Grenache Gris; the 5S0 (2019), which is 100% Cinsault; and Couleurs Réunies (2019), which is a field blend of many different red grapes. All three wines are expressive, offering great fruit forward notes but also textural depth. If you haven’t explored Languedoc wines recently, these are a great entry point into the region.
Of the three wines that we tasted, the 5S0 is the lightest and most approachable, made up of 100% Cinsault. It’s a deep red in color with cherry and white pepper on the nose. On the palette, tart cherry and raspberry flavors mingle together in a playful harmony. There is a little bit of earthiness to this wine but it’s more glou glou than it is serious. Sometimes all you need is playful wine to pair with a platter of salami, cheeses, and bread or an array of appetizers, like a winter puntarelle salad. If you’re just looking to inject a little fun into this dreary, snowy weather, this is the right bottle for you.
Coutelou Blanc is an exceptional white release that features mostly Macabeu and a small amount of Greanche Gris. It’s quite pale, a light straw like color in the glass. On the nose, soft floral aromas, hints of citrus pith, and lees aging greet you. On the palette, the wine is guided by wonderful stone fruit characteristics, equal parts juicy and a little rounded to contrast the generous acidity and minerality. At the end, you get subtle almond bitterness to connect everything together. This is a sophisticated but approachable wine that would pair well with a wide array of foods, like salmon, creamy risotto, or even a creative vegetarian tofu dish.
Carignan, Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvedre all make up this new wine from Mas Coutelou. These can all be heavy hitting grapes. Though this wine is surely the brawniest of the three, it also has enough lift to make itself approachable. It’s noticeably an inky purple color in the glass with a nose of wet earth, green pepper, and some dried herbs. The wine lets dark fruits like blackberry dominate, with acid, earthiness, and some tannic weight intermingling as the wine opens up. We think this one is a great way to straddle wine tastes if you’re having dinner with people in your house. (Think roasted chicken, duck, rabbit, or even a nice steak. The possibilities are endless.)
Until next time, happy sipping! We can’t wait to share some new arrivals next week as we stay cozy inside during this particularly snowy wintertime.