The remote village of Puimisson in the Languedoc might not seem a likely source of great wine. It has certainly been overlooked by the authorities, falling outside all but the most generic appellations. Indeed, although there is no shortage of vineyards, the growers sell their anaemic fruit to the local co-op, to be turned into cheap wine destined for who knows what supermarket shelf. But there is one glorious exception...
Jeff Coutelou has always done things differently. When he took over the vineyards from his father, he embarked on a path which must have seemed to his neighbours utterly bizarre. As early as 1987, he had achieved organic certification, when only 200 hectares in the entire Hérault department were farmed this way. In the following years, Jeff reduced his area under vine from 20ha to around 13ha, replacing some vineyards with olive groves and other plants to increase biodiversity. He even turned part of the estate into a nursery of forgotten indigenous grapes (rarities such as Castets, Servant, Picardin, and obscure clones of Muscat).
One of the Languedoc's most interesting producersJancis Robinson MW
Today, Jeff is renowned as one of the most dedicated viticulturists in France, and in the winery he works as simply as possible to allow the quality of the fruit to shine through. Guided by his own experience and whatever inspiration happens to strike him, he produces an ever-changing range of wines which are all unoaked, with no added yeasts or sulphites, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Without exception, these wines are some of the purest in the wine world, with fruit flavours that soar out of the glass.
We buy whatever we can get, and our latest shipment of Mas Coutelou has just arrived.
Mas Coutelou 2018 PM Blanc
A fresh and breezy blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat, Grenache Blanc and Viognier.
Mas Coutelou 2018 Classe
Our bestselling Coutelou wine, a of Grenache and Syrah with some Carignan added this year for additional grip and depth.
Mas Coutelou 2017 Flambadou
100% Carignan made only in vintages where it has been hot enough to 'flambée' the grapes. Full-bodied and beautifully pure.
Mas Coutelou 2018 La Vigne Haute
100% Syrah, arguable Jeff's top wine. This is a full-bodied wine which is delicious already but could easily be cellared for 5+ years.
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