Le Mazel
Cuvée Les Lèches 2022

  • Region Valvignères, Ardèche, France
  • Grapes Grenache Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc & Viognier
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
  • ABV 12%
  • Size 750ml

Quantity

About the Wine

Ripe and textural with layers of tropical fruits, spices and a bright mineral backbone from the limestone. This year the wine is dry and clear-cut, with smoky peaches, tinned pineapple and citrus oils coaxed out by the southern heat. A nourishing country wine with plenty of Mazel soul.

The return of an old cuvée - Les Lèches was originally made using a parcel of vines that Gérald passed on to neighbouring vigneron Sylvain Bock. Having now planted more Grenache Blanc that has come to maturity, the wine is reborn. Roughly half the latter and half Sauvignon Blanc, with a small addition of Viognier, this is one of the rarer blended whites that Mazel produce. This is the second vintage from this new planting.

The grapes are slowly pressed into steel to co-ferment, the Viognier making up a tiny percentage of the final blend, coming from Cuvée Mias just to fill the tank. As opposed to the long, slow 24-month process of older vintages, the fermentation was fast and had completed by the spring, so Gérald elected to bottle in April 2023 - something he is experimenting with more frequently as the behaviour of the yeasts seems to be changing in recent years.

About Le Mazel

Gérald Oustric is one of a certain generation of winemakers whom experienced a shared epiphany after meeting with Marcel Lapierre during the 80s. At the time he was working the family vineyards in Valvignères, a village in the south of the Ardèche, alongside his father. Each vintage all of the fruit was sold to the local co-operative. It was after this fateful meeting with Lapierre that Gerald realised there was another way to tend the vines and turn the resulting grapes into wine, and by the late 90s he had pulled out of the co-op, converted the domaine to certified organic and, in the wake of the infamous ‘gang of four’ that had inspired him, began to realise his vision of making wine with no additions at all. He joined forces with his sister Jocelyne, and Le Mazel was born. 

Over 20 years later they now farm 19 hectares, with a portion leased out to any number of the other emergent winemakers in the region. Gérald is well-regarded for being the guiding force in helping many of these younger producers get set up by selling them grapes, loaning out vineyards, lending them equipment or letting them make their wine in his cellars. There is a healthy, collaborative spirit in the air around these parts but, ever-humble, Gérald's work is often seen after the likes of Anders Frederik Steen, Sylvain Bock, Daniel Sage and Andrea Calek, all of whom he has lent a helping hand to along the way. 

The wines themselves are vital, wild-edged and nourishing, and clearly speak of the mistral-swept valley from which they hail. Mazel are notorious for embracing the annual variations that can occur when making wine without heavy manipulations or additions, and as such his staple of regular cuvées can express themselves completely differently from year to year. Each vintage is a new part of a bigger story.

Find out more about Le Mazel

More from Le Mazel

Le Mazel
Cuvée Briand 2018

Another lively, expressive, herbal red from the Mazel cellars. The fruit is all spicy black fruit, with a perfume full of wild fennel and clove. A wine that speaks of this wind-swept Ardèche valley. Find out more.

  • Region Valvignères, Ardèche, France
  • Grapes Grenache
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
£20.50

Quantity

Le Mazel
Cuvée Larmande 2018

Vital, high-energy Syrah a la Mazel, with plenty of vivid, herby fruit to the fore. The blackcurrant and black olive flavours entwine with a lick of piquant acidity. Find out more.

  • Region Valvignères, Ardèche, France
  • Grapes Syrah
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
£20.50

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Le Mazel
Cuvée Larmande 2021

Vital, high-energy Syrah a la Mazel. The blackcurrant and black olive flavours entwine to create something deeply savoury and saline. Find out more.

  • Region Valvignères, Ardèche, France
  • Grapes Syrah
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
£21.50

Quantity

Le Mazel
Cuvée Mias 2020

An off-dry Viognier that bursts with ripe orchard fruits and the merry dance between piquant acids and residual sugars. Bracing, uncompromising Ardéchois blanc. Find out more.

  • Region Valvignères, Ardèche, France
  • Grapes Viognier
  • Vineyard Organic
  • Cellar Fermented with native yeasts, unfiltered & unfined, no additional sulphites
£23

Quantity