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Pure Wine of the Week: Retour Aux Sources, Mas des Caprices, Fitou AOP, 2017


Retour Aux Sources, Mas des Caprices, Fitou AOP, 2017

I was supposed to travel to the Languedoc in a couple of weeks’ time but traveling can only happen in my dream now whilst we are doing our bit to fight the virus by staying at home.

But luckily I have been to the Languedoc in the South of France 2- 3 times a few years ago on press trips and I can still remember vividly those dramatic landscapes, the smell of herbs or sometimes the garrique in the air and the sound of birds chirping…Even though press trips could be tiring – long hours, tasting lots of wines a day, meeting too many producers in one go; sometimes I feel like as if I am in a speed-dating session. And with limited time, I already need to figure out what stories I could write out of these. Otherwise, I won’t have enough time to do more in-depth interviews with certain producers. It’s not always easy. And sometimes, you get accused by producers for writing nothing about them, after they “entertained” you and paid lots of money to the organisers and the PR companies. Yet, we can’t write everything, and it’s important to stick to the plan in order to come up with a thorough rather than shallow article.

Back to my wine of the week. This is from an organic wine producer Mas des Caprices in Fitou, owned by Mireille and Pierre Mann. I have not met them in person during my last visits but known them through their wines here in London. Their Ze Fitou wine is also lovely, made by using typical Fitou blends.

About Fitou blends: Must have at least 60% of Carignan and Grenache (a minimum of 20% of each), then a minimum of 10% of Syrah and/or Mourvèdre.

Carignan in particular, is not an easy grape to grow or to taste. It’s prone to mildew and has high tannins, high acidity, lots of colours and could be quite bitter. In short, it’s wild and it needs a good pair of hands to tame it! And I LOVE IT when it’s made well.

But the “Retour Aux Sources” is my absolute favourite. In fact, it accompanied me through the first week of the lockdown here in the UK and brought me lots of joy whenever I tasted it. A glass of delight.

Some geeky details about the wine:

Location: Mas des Caprices is located on the plateau of the village of Leucate in Fitou, Languedoc-Roussillon. Near the Spanish border, halfway between Port-la-Nouvelle and Perpignan.

Certification: Certified Organic and Biodynamic (Biodyvin & Ecocert)

Grape Varieties: Carignan 38%, Old Lladoner Pelut (Catalan cousin of Grenache) 17%, Syrah 25% and Mourvèdre 20%.

Vine Growing: On schist soil, harvest by hand.

Winemaking: Vinified in concrete tank and aging in oak for 10 months.

It has deep ruby colour, wild aromas of herbs and ripe juicy dark berries, with amazing acidity, so deep/dark yet refreshing. A great food wine.

UK Importer: Jascots Wine Merchants

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