About This Wine...
“Tasted among its peers this wine stands out for its lightness and elegance rather than its power… this is the Châteauneuf that you will want to keep as a secret!” Frankly Wines October 2018
Recommended by Tomas Clancy in the Sunday Business Post, December 2017, to go with your Christmas ham! Read more here.
Discovering the wines of Mas St Louis in 2015 was the culmination of fifteen year’s work. This estate is our unicorn, our Atlantis. Up until 2015 it seemed that the only producer in Châteauneuf du Pape who maintained the theory that the Grenache based wines of this famous appellation have the potential to express Pinot Noir like aromas and texture was the unattainable Château Rayas. Rayas, it was boasted, achieved its ethereal like qualities from the grapes grown on cool, sandy soils slightly to the north east of the village of Châteauneuf du Pape itself. However many years ago in conversation with the now deceased Paul Avril of Clos des Papes, he claimed that the commercial survival of the appellation after the devastation of World War II was due in no small part to Burgundian negoçiants who visited the area after the war and fell in love with the Pinot-like qualities of the wines. These wines were then bought in bulk, transported to Burgundy and then bottled, supposedly to be sold to the all-important Parisian market and export. It is of course alleged that many of these wines were in fact used to bolster some weaker Pinots from the Côte d’Or such were the aromatic similarities. Sadly by the early 1990’s this lighter style had been shunned for more highly extracted, often overripe wines with the claim being that due to global warming and the emergence of the so-called ‘super’ cuvées that it was no longer possible to produce a more elegant wine – apart from Rayas and its apparently unique terroir. Mas St Louis proves this theory wrong and is a style of Châteauneuf du Pape that will have people staring into their glasses in disbelief.
The domaine has been owned by the Geniest family for over a hundred years and apart from one small parcel of Syrah has all its vineyard holdings in the commune of Sorgues, the southern part of the appellation of Châteauneuf du Pape. The soil type here is a mixture of clay, gravel and sand with a scattering of galets roulets on the surface. This soil combination provides heat during the day but much cooler night time temperatures which help maintain higher levels of acidity in the grapes. At harvest time, the grapes are de-stemmed and then crushed before being pumped into traditional concrete tanks. Both alcoholic and malolactic fermentation take place in tank and the wines are then aged for 18+ months in large, oak casks in order to reduce the primary fruit characteristics in favour of more spicy notes. The wine is a blend of 70% Grenache, 15% Syrah and 15% Cinsault, Mourvèdre and Picpoul Noir. Prepare to be amazed.