When people talk seriously about “natural” wines, Mas de Gourgonnier’s organic wines are at the top of the list. Since the eighteenth century, the Cartier family has worked the land in Provence, providing the local abbey with freshly grown fruits, vegetables and grain. They also were one of the first certified organic estates in Provence in the early 1970s. Here you’ll find a direct, unadulterated connection between the land and each bottle—flowering rosemary, wild sage and juniper plus the mountain freshness of regional “mistral” are all echoed in the estate’s wines. This is a vine-growing family that doesn’t have to “sell” a natural philosophy, however; it’s simply who they are, and who they’ve always been.
TASTING IMPRESSIONS: Aromas of lavender and sage, light peppery spice. Flavors of black cherries, plums, baking spices
WINEMAKERS: Luc Cartier and his daughter, Eve Cartier
VINEYARDS: Vineyards are surrounded by pine trees and the natural scrub (garrigue) of the south. Soils are a mix of decomposed granite and limestone, very rocky and dry. The estate makes its own compost (from cow/sheep manure) and plows between vineyard rows; beneficial herbs are planted to control pests and moderate vine growth.
AGE OF VINES: 20 to 30 years
WINEMAKING: Hand-harvested. Partially destemmed and lightly crushed; fermented on indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled, stainless steel tanks. No sulfur is added at any point in the vinification process. Aged in a combination of tank and older French oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
PAIRING SUGGESTIONS: Grilled steak, lamb, richly flavored cheeses