Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Wine: Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé NV Brut St. Hilaire

Continuing our series of pink wines for Spring and summer, here is another one hailing from the south of France, and it brings bubbles. That makes for a festive way to celebrate the warmer months.

Domaines Paul Mas winemaker Jean-Claude Mas is a fourth-generation vintner who took over the wine production for the winery in 2000. He has helped the domaine grow from an 86-acre estate to a 1,000-acre business in the Languedoc region in the south of France.

The Paul Mas website explains that Jean-Claude makes "wines with authenticity and refinement, the end result of which is a family of magnificently charming wines that burst with personality and express their unique terroir."

The grapes used in making the Côté Mas Crémant de Limoux Rosé NV Brut St. Hilaire are primarily Chardonnay (70%) with 20% Chenin Blanc and a 10% splash of Pinot Noir. Stainless steel fermentation is followed by a secondary fermentation in the bottle, then comes a year of aging. The wine has an alcohol content of only 12% abv and sells at retail for $19.

It looks as beautiful and elegant as a sparkling rosé should - pale salmon with fine bubbles. The nose is a basket of summer fruit. The strawberry aromas include an herbal note as if the fruit is still on the plant. A bit of apricot and a hint of orange peel decorates the main event. The tastes of summer are just as prevalent as the aromas. Cherries, strawberries and a few raspberries go arm in arm with a lovely expression of minerality and citrus. It couldn't have come along in a better season.

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