2019 Mas des Bressades “Cuvee Tradition” Costieres de Nimes Blanc
Blend: 50% Roussanne, 30% Grenache Blanc, 10% Viognier, 10% Marsanne
From Costieres de Nimes (Southern Rhone), France
Mas des Bressades is regarded as one of the finest domaines of the Costières de Nîmes. With six generations of viticultural Mas des Bressades is regarded as one of the finest domaines of the Costières de Nîmes. With six generations of viticultural heritage preceding him, Roger
Marès bought this lovely estate in the Provençal village of Manduel in 1964. Today Roger’s son, Cyril, directs the domaine and crafts their elegant wines while his cousin, Alix, manages the estate. Cyril was born in Nîmes and grew up here with an intimate knowledge of the vineyards and orchards. After finishing his studies in agronomy, viticulture and enology in Montpellier in 1994 he travelled the world, interning at California’s Chalone Vineyards and under Bordeaux wine legends Bruno Prats and Paul Pontallier in Chile. Cyril returned home in 1996 to make wine for his own family with a newfound zeal for quality. In 1998 he married the girl next door, Nathalie Blanc of Mas Carlot, and the two have since become leading figures in the appellation at the heads of their respective family estates.
Mas des Bressades consists of 40 hectares of vineyards in the AOC Costières de Nîmes, all of which are farmed sustainably. Just like his father, who had left his mark on the domaine by replanting many of the vines in the 1970s, Cyril began his tenure by replanting some of the old orchards with Syrah and Grenache. Since then, he has added to the family holdings by purchasing old-vine plots of Roussanne, Marsanne and Mourvèdre. Cyril also has parcels planted to 70-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah vines, which he uses for “Les Vignes de Mon Père,” a tribute cuvee to his father, using the savoir-faire he acquired with Bordeaux varietals abroad. He has also reduced vineyard yields, which range between 30-40 hectoliters per hectare—a decision that favors of quality over quantity.
The soils in the Costières de Nîmes are rich in red clay and limestone galets roulés, which provides a layer of insulation in times of extreme weather. This area of the Southern Rhône is famous for 250 days of sunshine a year. While hot and dry during the growing season, the grapes can count on the Mistral to temper the heat. This native wind preserves the natural acidity of the fruit while also acting as a natural antiseptic against pests and rot, making sustainable vine treatments extremely effective. Cyril harvests the grapes in several passes to achieve freshness and complexity.
In addition to ensuring quality in the vineyards, Cyril has constructed a new cellar to optimize the aging of his wines. His studies abroad gave him a new understanding of oak aging, which he uses judiciously to best showcase his terroir. Depth and consistency are his primary style objectives, which he achieves with great success. The grapes are de-stemmed upon arrival at the winery and are fermented in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. From there, the aging process of each cuvee is different. The Viognier-Roussanne blend spends five months in barrel; the rosé “Tradition” is made with free-run juice; and the Syrah-Grenache “Tradition” ages in concrete tanks. “Les Vignes de Mon Père,” is aged for a year in oak from one- to two-year barrels. Bottled as the Vin de Pays du Gard, this powerful and deeply earthy bottle is arguably the tête de cuvée of the domaine.
Taste: Golden and fresh, with a stylish nose of white peaches, flowers, and almond trees. The fruit tends toward tropical without being out of balance, and the light oak aging integrates a lovely toastiness that makes this wine perfect for any time of the year.
Pairing: Roasted poultry, seafood/grilled fish, grilled vegetables, le grand aioli (a fresh crudite dish served in Provence alongside a plethora of aioli to dip in).
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