2011 Mas des Capitelles Collection N°2 Faugères, Languedoc
The ‘Collection’ cuvée by Languedoc winery Mas des Capitelles is, as told by the producer “a reflection of our knowledge and experience governed by high standards, patience and rarity.” In one word, collection is their ‘flagship’ wine.
Mas des Capitelles’ collection series began with the 2007 vintage. But because it is only produced in “exceptional years”, the 2011 vintage reviewed here is only the second label in the series, hence its name Collection N°2.
Harvested by hand, it was fermented traditionally for the Mourvèdre and Syrah, while the Carignan was fermented using carbonic maceration (the typical winemaking technique of Beaujolais Nouveau, but also rather common on Languedoc’s Carignan to extract the fruity elements of the grape).
With an extended maceration of skins after fermentation for over 30 days, the wine was then aged in French oak barrels for 24 months, before further maturation in vats of about 12 months.
Unfiltered before bottling, with a minimum use of sulfites (SO2), it is intended to showcase the best of what Mas des Capitelles winery can make.
So How Good is Mas des Capitelles Collection N°2?
This Languedoc red comes in a pretty dark red color, but a vibrant one. It is looking nearly black to the core but displays pungent hues of purple making it look deep and imposing. A dense and rather young-looking wine for a 6-7 year-old baby, giving a clue already to its pedigree.
The nose is pungent and powerful, lifted by powerful notes of orange peel.
Admittedly, the cork to this very bottle smelt a little oxidized, so it is possible that this very wine might have seen a little more oxygen that it should have because of the closure. But hey, this is the natural bottle variation, important for any wine.
Yet, this is a very talkative wine, featuring a wealth of fruity characters that suggest it couldn’t have been so oxidized after all. Perhaps it is jus a signature style for this biodynamic wine. This will need to be confirmed with further tasting at the winery perhaps!
The aromatic profile throws pungent fresh but ripe blackcurrant notes, that are so typical of wines from the Faugères appellation. Strawberry jam and fresh ripe cherries, are joined in a joyful ballet of aromas. White and black pepper, clove, coffee and caramel, dried banana, forest floor. There is so much going on. Pungent and lively, both deep and lifted by the opulent fruit at the same time.
Somewhat hard to get your head around, in a good way. Suggesting a characterful, authentic, complex and unique wine.
This is exactly confirmed on the palate. Dry the wine is, with a crisp citrusy acidity underlined by definite orange and lemon peel flavors. Zesty and zingy it is.
Yet, the typical Southern-France round body makes it taste rich and oily, backed up in that by ripe red berries flavors. Both ripe and gorgeously berry-sweet tasting it is, but also zingy and sharp. Much like fresh red berries themselves when you think about it!
It tastes like a fresh sweet blueberry or blackcurrant berry, with the drying and slightly vegetal phenolics included.
Huge burst of coffee liqueur and dark cocoa to the finish, augmented by a myriad of sweet spices, into a layered finish.
A surprising red wine at first, clearly throwing your senses around, and playing with what you think you know about wine, throwing sensations in all directions… Which is a good thing!
It delivers concentration of known flavors, together with lesser known combinations. Zesty lime and orange, come with gorgeously sweet red berry flavors, plenty of spices and sweet caramel notes.
The whole is opulent, utterly interesting, balanced and layered.
Well-crafted and balanced wine, in its own original way.
A wine worth experiencing…