Mas des Chimères "Nuit Grave" Terrasses du Larzac 2019
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Press 4 Red • February 2023 Direct Press Selection
Mas des Chimères, in the Languedoc, sits on prehistoric, 250-million-year-old soils. This is a family estate, led by Guilhem Dardé, where everything is done by hand. They don’t really have any other choice even if they wanted otherwise. The rough terrain is laden with hard volcanic rocks that would damage most machinery that tried to work it. This land sounds otherworldly. I mean literally, I keep hearing the red, iron-rich hills compared to something out of a Star Wars scene. Learning how to manipulate the land here is incredibly intense, but it also has its advantages. This area of the Languedoc is so dry that they don’t need to worry much about mold, mildew, or bugs, meaning no chemical treatment or use of insecticides. Without another farmer for many miles, their vineyards coexist with the undisturbed, natural ecosystem.
The Terrasses du Larzac “Nuit Grave” 2019 is 45% Syrah, 38% Grenache and 17% Mourvèdre. It starts off pretty punchy with a big tart cherry nose. But give it a minute and it mellows into something a little more savory, like sundried tomatoes and fresh cured salami. The grapes are ripe and the wine intense but not overbearing. It’s tannin-driven with a finish that is both fresh and hearty.
I can tell you what I think, but as Guilhem says, “What really matters is if you want to drink more. My main criteria for liking a wine is if the bottle is empty on the table.” I assure you; it was. Cara Conaboy