The Roussillon Wines of Mas Llossanes
Mas Llossanes is a new wine estate in Roussillon, Southern France, founded in 2016 by Solenn and Dominique Génot.
Using organic and biodynamic viticulture, the couple produces wines from vineyards of Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault, Carignan, Chenanson, and Chasan in the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains.
At around 600 meters (200 ft.), altitude here is pretty high for the area contributing to a longer grape ripening season, important night/day temperature variations, lower alcohol levels and higher acidity in the wines.
I worked with Dominique back in 2006 while we were making the wines of Caiarossa, a biodynamic super-tuscan winery on the coast of Tuscany. I have always admired the precision of his approach to winemaking influenced by his studies in Burgundy, and his constant ambition to extract the best from the grapes yet preserving freshness and acidity.
Mas Llossanes estate is not big, certainly a vigneron kind of size, with about 12 hectares of vineyards (30 acres). But this is well enough to keep the young winemaking couple busy, and produce about 30K bottles of wine per year (production of 2016 vintage, the estate’s first crop under current management).
Watch Mas Llossanes Vineyards and Roussillon Srunning Landscapes in Video
Find below wine reviews, information and tasting notes for all of Mas Llossanes wines.
Mas Llossanes Wines – Reviewed
2016 Mas Llossannes ‘Au Dolmen’ Cotes Catalanes, Roussillon, France
Score: 90/100 points
The ‘Au Dolmen’ cuvée is Mas Llossanes’ main wine, made from old vines under the IGP Côtes Catalanes appellation.
This is a blend of 73% Carignan, 15% Syrah, and 12% Chenanson fermented by indigenous yeasts (wild yeasts) in stainless steel tanks then aged in used oak barrels.
Overall Wine Review & Tasting Impression
A Roussillon red wine a dark and rather intense color as is expected from the area, deep red with purple hues.
The aromatic profile throws powerful notes of volcanic ashes, mineral and reductive notes of Sulphur compounds at first. Make sure to decant half an hour prior to serving.
Give it some time to breathe, and the wine starts to open up. You’ll be rewarded by deep notes of cocoa, blackberry and dark purple plum, with rare herbal and spicy characters of thyme, rosemary, and black pepper.
The dense and powerful palate features raw granulous tannins with a solid concentration, a vibrant acidity underlining shiny red berry fruit characters, and a good overall balance in a warming, comforting feel we enjoy in wines from Southern France.
Plenty of earthy notes, a dry and ashy feel, make for a rather austere tasting experience counter-balancing the opulence and richness of the fruit character, and the heat of the obvious spiciness.
A complex and interesting Roussillon red, filled with a hearty personality and solid concentration, although one doesn’t necessarily perfectly see while tasting where the focus point is in the blend here. The reductive notes are probably involved in blurring the lines.
A wine that demands for rich and fragrant foods like grilled meats, hearty stews or tapas to make for a more complete and enjoyable sense.
2016 Mas Llossanes ‘Dotrera’ Cotes Catalanes, Roussillon
Score: 91/100 points
Dotera is the flagship cuvée by Mas Llossanes so far. The name stands for “Gift of the Earth” in Catalan, the local historical language.
This 2016 vintage is a blend of Carignan (40%), Grenache (30%), Syrah (14%), and Chenanson (16%) aged in stainless steel for the Grenache and used oak barrels for the other grape varieties.
Winemaker Dominique insists on keeping the influence of oak to a minimum, to retain the freshness and the genuine expression of the terroir and the grapes.
Overall Wine Review Notes & Tasting Impressions
A lively red wine filled Southern France’s sunshiny goodness. Comforting dark cherry and blackberry are joined by pungent spicy and herbal notes of garrigue, thyme and rosemary, as well as green and black pepper tones in a joyful and warming mid-to-full-bodied texture.
The acidity stands out as a mineral and crisp feature, rare at this level of intensity but also refinement out of this area, certainly due to the altitude of Mas Llossanes vineyards.
Clean, with mineral fruity notes, a super-dry feel filled with acidic tension, concentrated granulous yet round tannins, this is a characterful red that teases your interest every second of the tasting.
A wine showcasing the potential of newly-established producer Dominique Genot and promises of Mas Llossanes as an interesting up-and-coming winery of Roussillon.