About The Wine
Mas Rousseau is a massale selection of Carignan Blanc planted in 2012. (The Rousseau on the label is Delphine’s family name, while I theorize that “Mas” is a play on words that comes from an abbreviation of massale, not only its common shortening of maison, commonly found in the south of France.) Like all of their white wine vineyards, this one faces east to catch the early sunlight, and it has deep, well-drained clay soils dense with Jurassic limestone scree from the Larzac plateau. Carignan Blanc naturally produces modest levels of sugar (potential alcohol) when properly mature and ready to be harvested. This is perfect for the style of white wine of Escalette and this cool climate Languedoc sub-region.
(While the grapes are all grown inside the Terrasses du Larzac appellation, the use of this single grape in the wine disqualifies it for use of that AOP and is labeled as an IGP Hérault—a broad sweeping appellation that takes its name from France’s department number 34. There are very little regulations under this IGP making way for the production of almost every well-known French grape under the sun with the potential for excessively high yields—max 80hl/ha. But keep in mind that Mas Rousseau is on prime vin de terroir real estate and worked under biodynamic and organic farming rules, with very low yields to boot.)
It’s made exactly as the Les Clapas white wine (the blended white cuvée) except that it’s aged solely in 600-liter old barrels and has a more full palate weight and breadth; think Mâconnais with good acidity on the honey, nut flour, mineral, baked apple side of life. The fermentation is natural and the first sulfite addition is made just before the bottling. Given that Julien cut his teeth at one of the better white wine estates in the Loire Valley (Henry Pellé, in Menetou-Salon), this wine stays true to form for the whites they like to serve at their table: fresh acidity (typically a pH of 3.30) and laced with lifted but strong mineral qualities and sapidity. This wine is a mouthful and begins to straighten out with more time open. (This would be perfect with a slow-roasted chicken and pototoes with chanterelles.)