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2016 Saint-Chinian Rosé

Mas Champart

2016 Saint-Chinian Rosé Mas Champart - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
If you enjoy the treasured rosés of Bandol but prefer to spend half the price, take note of this steal from Saint-Chinian, just hours west of the esteemed Provençal appellation. Made from roughly the same grape varieties—with a hearty dose of Mourvèdre, most significantly—the Saint-Chinian is crisp, stony, fleshy, and herbaceous. Garrigue abounds: rosemary, thyme, lavender, and many more divine scents make Mas Champart’s rosé intriguing, refreshing, and, most important, delicious. Just as a bottle of this can be inexplicably drained in no time, our stock will disappear before we know it, so we recommend foresight in planning your future rosé consumption.

Anthony Lynch

Vintage: 2016
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 55% Mourvèdre, 35% Cinsault, 10% Syrah
Appellation: Saint-Chinian
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Mas Champart
Winemaker: Isabelle & Mathieu Champart
Vineyard: Cinsault: 50 years, Mourvèdre: 25 years, Syrah: 22 years; 16 ha
Soil: Marl, Limestone
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 13%

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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Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch

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