Tuesday, October 26, 2010

more wines that I helped make and probably shouldn't be scoring: Coume del Mas 2008

I've mentioned before my involvement with Coume del Mas, Mas Cristine & Consolation wines; one of the directors is an old friend and for the last three vintages (08, 09 & 10) I've flown down to provide an extra pair of hands during harvest. The wines are handmade in the purest sense of the term and it's hard work. Philippe Gard, the winemaker and all-around head dude is a quiet, humble perfectionist. I don't think I've ever seen anyone work harder at anything in my life.

Quite a lot of enjoying wine is about context. Tasting wine in the vacuum of a trade event allows you to assess quality, but there's little attachment gained. These wines are technically brilliant. Their reputation amongst their peers is stellar. I'd like them anyway, without my involvement (however minor) in their creation. Picking the grapes, sorting them, dumping them - 50 kilos at a time - into the destemmer or press, tasting the juice in barrel and tank, taking density and temperature readings: all of these things generate a strong connection to the end product. I'm proud of these wines, and my small part in their making. I can't really open a bottle without smiling a little. So take these reviews with a pinch of salt. I am, once again, biased.

Coume del Mas Quadratur Collioure Rouge 2008

A blend of Grenache, Mourvedre & Carignan.

Deep and purple and perhaps a touch inky.

Stoney nose with violets, blueberry compote and black pepper. There's lavender and maybe even some Balsamic as well.

Juicy plums, blueberries and a deep cocoa. Extraordinarily soft and gentle on the palate - though there is certainly power there. Delicious but somewhat understated at the moment. Lots to come in the future, but this is still rather fantastic right now.


Tasted 22/10/2010 at Shorehead

Coume del Mas Schistes Collioure Rouge 2008

100% Grenache

The purple of its youth has retreated to bright, brilliant ruby with a deep core and the occasional fleck of violet.

Intense rose petal and perhaps a whiff of seaside minerality. The fruit comes though, with pulped bramble and liquorice, laced in cinnamon and nutmeg.

Dark, crunchy fruit bursts on the palate - texture wise it feel like biting into something. The tannins give the mouthfeel fantastic circular structure and also give the illusion of weight to what is really rather elegant. It is elegance with power though, and brilliant focus of fruit. The mineral backbone goes from beginning to end. It's important to note that this wine sees no oak at all. All of the texture, depth and dimension comes purely from the fruit. This wine never ceases to please me.


Tasted 23/10/2010 at Luvians Bottleshop

Coume del Mals Folio Collioure Blanc 2008

100% Barrique fermented Grenache Gris.

Good gold. Not overly tarnished. Still lights and brightness.

Roasted melon and serrano ham on the nose. There's a touch of creaminess too, but very light and lingering on the edges. It gets more tropical with air - pineapples soaked in caramel and possibly some guava too. Pretty decadent, really.

Rich, honeycomb-wax palate. That tropical fruit from the nose is never overbearing on the tongue - luscious and soft melons, honey, pineapple. The texture is rounded but with the finish comes cleansing minerality and a touch of oak. That minerality has the barest sense of sea salt about it, bringing back that ham from the nose. There's not a lot of acidity in these parts, and as such these gripping secondaries - the minerality and such - are not just bonuses but necessary to provide structure. It's still decadent and fruity, but never lacking class. Sadly there's not much made and it sells out every vintage.


Tasted 24/10/2010 at Shorehead

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