.. “Vin des Amis” may be Coutelou’s most popular cuvée but this 100% Mourvèdre is quickly gaining fans. A densely layered Mourvèdre from a high part of the vineyard with aging potential, Jeff says this is the most textbook example he’s ever made and Mourvèdre a grape he adores and suited to his terroir. On the nose the wine shows heady aromas of briny black olives, violets, black pepper and wild berries. The robe is dark in the glass with deep notes of spice, cassis, and a touch of earth framed by firm tannins and salty mineral acidity. An elegant wine that’s delicious now, but this will be great drinking in 3-5 years.
The domaine was established by his father in 1972 and has been run organically since 1987, “before this type of production became fashionable” says Jean Francois.
Mas Coutelou is located in Puimisson, a commune in the Hérault department of the Languedoc and to the east of Béziers. It’s been a winemaking village for over 200 years and most of it’s soils are a mix of red clays and limestone.
Today Jean Francois farms 14 hectares of vines, as well as a few hundred olive trees that protect his vines from his neighbors farming methods.. His father planted the first vines back in 1966 and was one of the pioneers of organic viticulture in the Hérault, when there were just seven organic wine growers in the entire department, today the estate is registered with ‘Nature et Progrès’.
The vines at Mas Coutelou are beautifully taken care of and all by hand. The estate is planted to Syrah, Grenache, Carignan, Mourvèdre & Cinsaut for red wines and Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Blanc a Petite Grains & Viognier for the whites. He has recently planted some Grenache Gris, Macabeu, and grafted some Clairette musqué and Carignan blanc.
The vinification is meticulous and adapted every season; short or long maceration, carbonic maceration, punching down or pumping all depends on the vintage and variety. Selected yeasts have never been used and the use of SO2 is limited, or non-existent in some years when it is possible.The bottling is done at the estate, without filtration and by gravity, a final but very important mark of quality.