Mazière Syrah 2014

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Corbières, Roussillon, France
Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites

Mazière wines hail from Corbieres in the Roussillon, but orbit in a category all of their own. The vines are tended to without the use of chemicals and exposed carefully to ensure balanced ripeness whilst retaining freshness in this warm climate known mainly for producing heady, scorched reds. The cellar work is interesting and it is a meticulous and very specific process of development, or elevage, that is what imprints a real singularity once the grapes leave the vines. Everything is done in old barrel, each variety of grape fermented and aged separately, but each barrel is its own entity and what happens within will not be exactly the same in each case. Some barrels are bottled as they are, some are not topped-up as the wine evaporates leading to carefully controlled, intentional oxidation. Sometimes barrels are blended from different vintages if it is deemed to benefit the wine. When we first tasted these wines it really was unlike anything we'd come across before. The texture first of all is incredibly concentrated, and slick as oil, whilst the oxidative barrel notes add all manner of complexity. Overall you sense a real mixture of sense of place, but also of process; the wines carefully watched over and shaped into being. The Syrah shows floral aromatics, black fruit, peppery spice and distinctive notes of herbaceous garrigue you might associate with the area. Serious stuff!