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2014 Saint-Chinian Rouge “Clos de la Simonette”

Mas Champart

2014 Saint-Chinian <i>Rouge</i> “Clos de la Simonette” Mas Champart - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
It’s hard to believe that the Champarts set up shop back in 1976. They still seem as young and enthusiastic as ever, and they must have a good laugh when they think of all the banks that refused to follow their endeavor, telling them there was no future in their little corner of the Languedoc. Not only did they make quite a future out of it, they became the hands-down benchmark of Saint-Chinian by which all others are judged. A single swirl and sniff of this Mourvèdre-majority masterpiece is all it takes to see what forty-one years of experience can bring to the table. “That’s the ticket!!!” read my notes. Lots of pleasure and even more soul.

Chris Santini

Vintage: 2014
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 65% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache, 15% Carignan
Appellation: Saint-Chinian
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Mas Champart
Winemaker: Isabelle & Mathieu Champart
Soil: Marl, Clay, Limestone
Aging: Aged for 18 months in demi-muids after a long maceration
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 14.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Languedoc-Roussillon

Ask wine drinkers around the world, and the word “Languedoc” is sure to elicit mixed reactions. On the one hand, the region is still strongly tied to its past as a producer of cheap, insipid bulk wine in the eyes of many consumers. On the other hand, it is the source of countless great values providing affordable everyday pleasure, with an increasing number of higher-end wines capable of rivaling the best from other parts of France.

While there’s no denying the Languedoc’s checkered history, the last two decades have seen a noticeable shift to fine wine, with an emphasis on terroir. Ambitious growers have sought out vineyard sites with poor, well draining soils in hilly zones, curbed back on irrigation and the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, and looked to balance traditional production methods with technological advancements to craft wines with elegance, balance, and a clear sense of place. Today, the overall quality and variety of wines being made in the Languedoc is as high as ever.

Shaped like a crescent hugging the Mediterranean coast, the region boasts an enormous variety of soil types and microclimates depending on elevation, exposition, and relative distance from the coastline and the cooler foothills farther inland. While the warm Mediterranean climate is conducive to the production of reds, there are world-class whites and rosés to be found as well, along with stunning dessert wines revered by connoisseurs for centuries.

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Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.

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