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2017 Saint-Chinian Blanc

Mas Champart

Saint-Chinian is an unforgiving place. In the summer, the sun beats down on the steep hillsides while violent winds thunder through, overpowering all but the most tenacious shrubbery. The soil, a mix of marl and limestone, is scattered with jagged rocks that are in no way welcoming. Amid all this desolation lies Mas Champart, where the charming Isabelle and Matthieu Champart have somehow coaxed this landscape into producing one of the most elegant white wines of the south of France. Generous yet restrained, it shows layers of creaminess and tender, honeyed fruit, with pretty floral tones leading to a clean minerally finish. It will warm you up on a cold winter day just as well as it refreshes in the heat of summer. Their passion to create a great dry white is inspiring.

Anthony Lynch

Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2017
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 50% Marsanne & Roussanne, 20% Grenache blanc, 15% Roussette, et al.
Appellation: Saint-Chinian
Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
Producer: Mas Champart
Winemaker: Isabelle & Mathieu Champart
Vineyard: 20 years, 16 ha total
Soil: Marl, Limestone
Aging: Aged in barrel and tank, on fine lees, with light stirring, for 11 months
Farming: Lutte Raisonnée
Alcohol: 14.5%

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About Languedoc-Roussillon

map of 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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A good doctor prescribed the wine of Nuits-Saint-Georges to the Sun King, Louis XIV, when he suffered an unknown maladie. When the king’s health was restored the tasty remedy enjoyed a vogue at court. Lord, send me a doctor like that!

Inspiring Thirst, page 117

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Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol


Many food and beverage cans have linings containing bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical known to cause harm to the female reproductive system. Jar lids and bottle caps may also contain BPA. You can be exposed to BPA when you consume foods or beverages packaged in these containers. For more information, go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/bpa