MCF Rare Wine
The Jewel of Pic Saint Loup - Mas Foulaquier
There are plenty gems produced in the Languedoc region of Southern France, but, lately, the wines of Mas Foulaquier, in Pic Saint Loup, have been some of my absolute favorites.
Over the last few years, many of you have jumped on the Foulaquier bangwagon, as well.
The reason is pretty simple - they're fresh, pure, balanced, complex and just flat-out delicious examples of 'Rhône-ish' wines that, for my money, drink as well or better than many of the counterparts from more famous appellations.
Deliciousness of the wines aside, everything else about Mas Foulaquier is eminently likable, too, especially their story.
Swiss guy leaves his career as an Architect, plants his flag in an appellation that, at the time, wasn't thought of as all that much, meets his wife (also a winemaker) who brings with her a pristine, old-vine vineyard, and they slowly build their dream.
They spend the next 15-odd years quietly honing their skills at making fabulous, massively under-appreciated wines. Enter now, and people are starting to catch on...and I'm not just talking about all of you that I mentioned above who've jumped on the wagon already.
So, good for Blandine and Pierre, and the appreciation it appears they're garnering.
Of course, in terms of availability, I always like it when great wines go unappreciated by everyone else besides us, but I also like seeing great people who make great wine get the recognition they deserve.
So, I'll start with the 2017 Pic Saint Loup l'Orphée, a wine that we actually had in stock back at the end of 2019. It was so popular that I feel like I don't have to describe it, but I try not to be lazy, so here you go.
The thing I love so much about all Foulaquier wines is the way they seamlessly interweave an electric level of freshness into the classic warm, generous, herbaceous flavors of Southern France.
That's exactly what we have here - wonderfully supple, mineral and subtly, though exotically-spiced dark fruit rides a blanket of incredibly fresh acidity and is lifted by a highly-fragrant nose. In other words, it's flavor-packed, yet still highly refreshing.
Moving on to the jewel of the Foulaquier lineup, the Gran' Tonillières 2017 (now designated as IGP Saint-Guilhem-Le-Désert), comes from Blandine's lieu dit of Les Tonillières, which is planted with 60 year-old Carignan. This is a flat out fabulous, savory, smoky, leathery and animale expression that, especially with age, will challenge many of the old-school classics from the 'Pope's House' section to the North.
This is actually the first time we've had a relatively fresh vintage of the 'Gran T' (as it's affectionately known) in stock. Back in the Winter, we had the gloriously expressive 2013 and a few years back, we had the outrageously good 2010 in magnum.
Even though it's youthful compared to those other two, it's still got that more linear, transparent and wild character to it. The old-vine Carignan explodes in all it's feral, garrigue-laced glory, surrounded by wonderfully focused and expressive red fruit. As it ages, this is only going to get more wild and leathery...and this 2017 WILL AGE BEAUTIFULLY.
Moving on to two non-reds, we have the possessing-epic-levels-of-floral-minerality Chouette Blanche 2017, a blend of Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Bourboulenc, Rolle and Clairette that's vinified in barrel and spends 30 months on the lees. The resulting wine perfectly threads that needle of allowing the 'White Rhône' varietals to express their floral selves fully, but doing so in a precise, energetic and mineral-laced accent, of course.
Though I've not had the pleasure of trying it, I've heard that aged bottles of the 'White Owl' are beautiful. Given how well their other wines age, I choose to believe it. So much so, in fact, that I'm making myself set aside a couple of bottles this time.
Finally, we have the Pierre de Rosette Rosé 2017, a pinkie of 100% Alicante Bouschet that's vinified and aged in amphora. With its bright berry fruits and savory, firmly mineral core, this is the perfect Rosé to have on hand as the weather cools down...not that it's not perfect for warm days, though.
Everything is done according to Biodynamic principles - their vineyards are pristine and chemical free, and they utilize minimal sulphur throughout the winemaking process.
These are some of the most stable, structured and ageworthy 'natural' wines you'll encounter...certainly at the sub-$50 level.
Blandine and Pierre and their Mas Foulaquier absolutely represent the future of Southern French wine, and its continued evolution from a bulk/value region to a legitimate 'fine wine' source.
And, yes, I will say it again...they're another producer to get in on now.
So get it!
You may order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 212.255.8870.
MCF Rare Wine, Ltd
249 West 13th Street NYC 10011