Paul Mas 2011 Vin de Pays d’Oc Grenache – Syrah

Here’s a soft, easy-to-drink wine from the south of France with a hint of
Posted 06th March 2012        

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Here’s a soft, easy-to-drink wine from the south of France with a hint of spice and liquorice.

It’s not one that you’d pull out on special occasions to impress guests or if you’re in the mood for oral explosions of taste. It doesn’t dominate proceedings, and you might not pay a huge amount of attention to it when drinking it.

This is not necessarily a bad thing. Conversation, food, sights – all these things can be a very pleasant place for consciousness to settle upon rather than being caught up in a showy wine.

An absence of attention grabbing also means a  welcome absence of negatives: no nasty notes to distract the attention; no odd imbalances or harsh finishes to cause a brief frown and a momentary self-chastisement at picking a poor wine for this otherwise excellent occasion.

“I’m sorry, what were you saying again?” you say, trying in vain to pull yourself away from an awareness of the overly acidic tang your guest must also be experiencing and back to what they are actually saying. Something about house prices?

None of that here. Just a perfectly fine and typical blend of Grenache (60%) and Syrah (40%) from the Languedoc region of France.

That said, it does have its perks to draw the interest: a purple tinge round the edge of the ruby red liquid in the glass; an arresting, aromatic nose with hints of mulberry and cherry; and the aforementioned hint of spice and liquorice in the warm but pretty short finish.

It’s a young wine, and the acidity makes things slightly sharp, but this is rounded off by a subtle sweetness. The tannins are chilled out, and not too noticeable.

What is noticeable is the crazy label. Not so much what’s on it – that it’s Vin de Pays d’Oc, a step up from table wine but below the AOC classification – but the material it’s made of.  Some kind of pearlescent textured paper embossed with a diamond pattern, giving it a quilted effect.

It’s an eye-catching introduction to a not so mouth-catching wine, which nonetheless has its place in the scheme of things.

I picked up my bottle in Waitrose, where it was on offer for about £6. A good deal, I think.


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Meet the Author:
Adam Bamburg
Adam spent much of his youth in Hampshire, somewhere between Winchester and Southampton. After extracting a degree involving psychology and philosophy from a Nottingham-based university, he bid the midlands farewell and ventured back south to live in Brighton. There he found his vocation in writing: first evaluating the musical performances and recorded output of assorted beat-combos, then branching out into the terrifying world of art criticism. Despite his best efforts he now works in ‘the media’ in London. As Adam grew older and wiser he realised that wine was his favourite alcoholic beverage, that some wines are better than others, and that furthering his knowledge of the grape and producer often increased his enjoyment of the drink at the same time. He hopes to share the fermented fruits of his voyage of discovery here.