I come back to the wines of Mas de Gourgonnier every couple of years, it seems, and that’s not surprising: I love this excellent organic wine from Les Baux de Provence.
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But usually I get their hearty, rustic yet complex red wine in its idiosyncratic squat flagon. I don’t pick up Gourgonnier’s rosé nearly as often, so I was particularly delighted to get back to the fresh 2020 vintage just in time to enjoy it during our recent heat wave.
When the temperatures are in the 90ºs with humidity to match, a cool rosé really suits me. But even then, I’m not willing to compromise with bland, boring pink wines. Happily, Mas de Gourgonnier is neither. Its Provence-ish but different blend of 60% Grenache and 15% Mourvèdre plus a 30% glug of Cabernet Sauvignon – similar but not identical to Gourgonnier’s red blend – provides plenty of complexity and character.
As I’ve written often in the past, I’m not sure whether you can actually taste the effects of grapes grown organically without chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or insecticides. But experience tells me that wine makers who make the considerable effort of taking all these organic steps also take the kind of care in the winery that proves itself in the wine.
Owners Luc, Eve, and Lucienne Cartier make the rosé with admirable care. They direct-press the red grapes, removing the skins promptly so as to impart only a light, clear rosy color. They use indigenous yeast to ferment, imparting added flavor complexity. They ferment and age the wine in stainless steel vats, a neutral environment that imparts no oak or other flavors to detract from the fresh, delicious fruit. Indeed, even the rosé’s cork, a synthetic stopper from Nomacorc, bears the legend “Classic Green 100% recyclable” on its side.
I had occasion to visit Mas de Gourgonnier in 2002, and will long remember the experience of tasting the family’s wines (and its excellent olive oils too), as well as touring Les Baux du Provence, where huge outcroppings of gray-white bauxite – aluminum ore – give the region its name. Les Baux du Provence also features a historic hilltop village that attracts tour buses, but don’t let that keep you from making a visit if you ever get the chance. It’s a beautiful part of the world, with beautiful wines.
If you buy the wine, ask for “Mahss duh Goor-gone-yay.” You’ll find my tasting notes on the rosé below.
Wine-Searcher.com is the place to go online if you want to find where to buy a particular wine that interests you. What’s more, Wine-Searcher.com offers so much more. It’s well worth a visit just to discover its many features, including its popular list of the world’s Top 10 Best Value Wines.
Today’s Tasting Report
Mas de Gourgonnier 2020 Les Baux de Provence Rosé ($19.99)
An excellent Provence blend of 60% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre with a less typical 30% glug of Cabernet Sauvignon, this organically grown rosé shows a pretty, rosy pink in the glass. Delicious, subtle but distinct mixed red-berry aromas, raspberries and strawberries, invite a taste. It’s just as delicious on the palate, with red berries and a snap of zippy, citric lemon-lime. Brisk acidity builds structure, and intriguing rainwater-over-rocks minerality joins berries and citrus in a very long finish. Moderate 13% alcohol. U.S. importer: Skurnik Wines & Spirits, NYC. (Aug. 7, 2021)
FOOD MATCH: In my experience, good Provence rosés like this pair well with either mild or oily fish, “white” meats like chicken or pork, vegetable dishes in general and fresh, mild cheeses. It’s also a match for spicy fare, and went very well with the red and black pepper kick of a Cajun-style dish with okra and tomatoes from our garden.
WHEN TO DRINK: Provence rosés reward drinking young, while they’re full of fresh fruit. I wouldn’t worry about drinking this 2020 over the next couple of years, but there’s no point in cellaring it.
My local price matches Wine-Searcher.com’s $19 average U.S. retail. It’s not a cheap rosé, but it is a very good rosé. It’s fair value at this price. According to Wine-Searcher.com’s price and review statistics, “Critics have rated this as the best available among Les Baux de Provence wines … Based on critic scores and price, this wine represents great value.”
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Check prices and find vendors for Mas de Gourgonnier Rosé on Wine-Searcher.com.
Follow this Wine-Searcher link to browse Wine-Searcher’s listings for all the wines produced by Mas de Gourgonnier.
Learn about Les Baux de Provence and browse listings for the region’s wines at this Wine-Searcher link.
Wine Focus: Talk About Grüner Veltliner (with bonus grapes)
Grüner Veltliner! Mention of the grape inevitably brings up Austria, but it is also planted in Oregon, California, Hungary, and beyond. Since Grüner is not the most commonly available grape in the wine world, here’s an alternative. One of the parents of Grüner is Savignin, which is a progenitor of an astounding number of grapes. If you don’t have Grüner, try a Silvaner, Trousseau, Petit or Gros Manseng, or even Chenin Blanc. They are all half-siblings! So join us in Wine Focus this month! Taste a Grüner Veltliner – or any other wine in the Savignin family – and click to come talk about it: Wine 302: Grüner Veltliner (with bonus grapes).
Good wines we’ve tried under $10.99!
Want tips to still more good, inexpensive wines? Here are Wine-Searcher links to vendors and prices for a bunch more wines for $10.99 or less that I’ve told you about in recent years. In some cases the prices may have risen over the $10.99 mark since I reviewed them, but they should still be excellent bargains. Please tell us about your favorites!
- Famille Perrin 2019 “La Vielle Ferme” Rouge ($7.99)
- Querceto 2019 Chianti ($10.99)
- Porto Kopke Fine Ruby and Tawny Port ($9.99/375ml)
- La Fiera 2016 Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($8.99)
- La Vieille Ferme Vin de France Rosé ($8.99)
- La Fiera Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ($8.99)
- Laroque Cité de Carcassonne Cabernet Franc ($9.99)
- Domaine de Pouy 2016 Côtes de Gascogne ($7.99)
- Alamos Mendoza Malbec ($9.99)
- Caposaldo Chianti ($8.99)
- d’Arenberg McLaren Vale “The Stump Jump” ($9.99)
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