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2011 Mas Champart Rouge, Pays d'Oc

2011 Mas Champart Rouge, Pays d'Oc

Red | Drink now | Mas Champart | Code: 20689 | 2011 | France > Vin de Pays > Vin de Pays d'Oc | Cab.Franc | Medium Bodied, Dry | 14.0 % alcohol

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The Producer

Mas Champart

Mas Champart

The French wine region of St Chinian is located in the photogenic foothills of the Cevennes to the north of Beziers and is sandwiched, for those who know their vinous map, between Minervois and  Faugères.  The complex mosaic of terroir here may be simplified into higher -ground schist in the north (the enclave of Berlou is adjacent to Faugères) and limestone on the lower southern slopes.  Mas Champart’s vineyards are mainly located in the latter camp.

Founded in 1976, Mas Champart is owned by the unassuming Parisian (is this a contradiction in terms?) couple Isabelle and Mathieu. They farm 25 hectares and are traditional in virtually all aspects of their winemaking, the notable exception being their passion for Cabernet Franc, a souvenir from several trips to the Loire Valley. Their Vin de Pays red wine contains up to 75% Cabernet Franc to be precise, the balance a kaleidoscope of local colour, headed by Syrah and Grenache. 

The Cote d’Arbo cuvee is a blend of Syrah, Grenache, very old-vine Carignan and Mourvèdre, farmed at low yields and bottled with minimal intervention after ageing in tanks.

Their outstanding white wine  is made up of 80% Terret and 20% Grenache Gris, ancient historical varieties in these parts and therefore, he says ironically, not permitted within the local AOC rules. Therefore it is a Vin de Pays, soon to be an IGP d’Hérault.

The Grape

Cab.Franc

Cab.Franc

Cabernet Franc is widely planted in Bordeaux and is the most important black grape grown in the Loire. In the Médoc it may constitute up to 15% of a typical vineyard - it is always blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and is used to add bouquet and complexity to the wines. It is more widely used in St.Emilion where it adapts well to the cooler and moister clay soils - Cheval Blanc is the most famous Cabernet Franc wine in the world, with the final blend consisting of up to 65% of the grape.

Cabernet Franc thrives in the Loire where the cooler growing conditions serve to accentuate the grape's herbaceous, grassy, lead pencil aromas. The best wines come from the tuffeaux limestone slopes of Chinon and Bourgeil where growers such as Jacky Blot produce intense well-structured wines that possess excellent cellaring potential.

The Region

Vin de Pays d'Oc

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