Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wines I'm Drinking: 2009 Mas Brunet Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc

I've been home from a 10-week stay in southern France (with side trips to Barcelona, Corsica, Sardinia, and Italy proper) for a month tomorrow. I'm finally getting the last of the suitcases squared away. Among various receipts, brochures, odd bits of change (from this trip and, evidently, others), and the occasional rock labeled with a vineyard or other name in the bottom of one bag, I came across a cork in an envelope covered with tasting notes. I had forgotten about this wine, but it was a good one, so I've decided to belatedly write up the thoughts I jotted down while enjoying it.

I bought  the wine in an excellent little shop in St. Guilhem-le-Desert. I regret not having made a note of the name of the place. There was an excellent selection of high-end local wines, the proprietor spoke English, and he knew his product well.

The 2009 Mas Brunet Coteaux du Languedoc Blanc is a blend of Rousanne, Vermentino, and Vioginer. I chose it mostly because of the Vermentino component, having recently had so many good Vermentino wines in Sardinia--notably the 2007 Funtanaliras Vermentino and the 2008 "Arakèna" Vermentino di Gallura, both from the Cantina del Vermentino, in Monti, in Sardinia's Gallura region (the northeast). Having said that, the assertiveness of the Viognier made this selection rather different from any straight Vermentino wine. Brief tasting notes follow.

A very pale but pretty straw color. The sort of wine that makes its presence known immediately. Floral scents and a telltale peachy, Viognier-scent were evident even before putting my nose to the glass--but there was more than that. There was something like butter cream (or cake icing, perhaps), and there were vanilla scents. Initially seemed astringent, smoky, and a bit woody on the palate, but then it began to give an impression of creamy richness followed by some tannic graininess and then a lingering, fruity sweetness on an extended finish (although the wine is quite dry). With a little time, new scents and flavors emerged. I began to get hints of iron, honey, vanilla yogurt, and finally nutmeg. Complex, assertive, interesting, and delicious. I paid about €12 (or around $15) for the bottle. Recommended (although this wine is unlikely to be available in the US). If you can find it, it's well worth a try, and I suspect this is a producer worth keeping an eye out for.

For more wine reviews, use the Wines I'm Drinking label.


  1. Mas Brunet is sited on a limestone causse (plateau) above St Guilhem and the altitude gives the wines a relative freshness. I've tasted most recent vintages and it's consistently excellent. Occasionally I find the oak a bit too noticeable depending on the wine's stage of development and my mood.

    Mas Brunet also makes fine reds as well, but I suspect you found the weather a bit hot for reds hence your indulgence in Rosé.

    Unfortunately not enough Vermentino is planted in the Languedoc (where it's still often called Rolle) - I only know of three that approach 100%. A pity because, as you say, being on its northern limit makes for racy wines that are less aromatic than the local norm.

  2. Hi Graham,

    Thanks for your comment. Yes, it was beastly hot during most of the time I was there, so, as you say, it was cold rosé that was most appealing--but I love rosé and the area makes so many interesting ones that I have no complaint. Can't taste everything....although one always wants to try.


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