Mas des Bressades is considered by many as one of the top estates in Costières de Nîmes, located 35 miles southwest of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, on the western side of the Rhône. Cyril Marès has been the winemaker since 1996. He previously worked for Chalone in California and Bruno Prats in Chile. His wife, Natalie Blanc, owns the adjacent estate, Mas Carlot.
For the last 10 vintages, I have bought their Roussanne/Viognier. They make two red cuvées. The Cuvée Excellence is a Syrah-dominated blend, and Cuvée Tradition, is an unoaked southern blend of Syrah and Grenache. They also make an outstanding Rosé.
Their wines are imported by Robert Kacher. He founded Robert Kacher Selections more than 20 years ago. Robert Parker named him “one of the 20 most influential wine personalities of the past 20 years” and in 2004 Bobby became Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite Agricole, one of only a handful of U.S. importers to ever receive the honor. Some have been a bit critical of Kacher for his very hands on approach with the winemakers he represents. But he is more often praised for the quality and value of the wines he represents.
This wine is made from roughly 55% Viognier and 45% Roussanne which is aged completely in barrel; 80% new oak and 20% 1 year old. The wine only stays in barrel for 5 months in order to introduce a nuance of oak but allow the fruit to be the focus of the wine. Solid aromatics with some tropical fruit. Note of pear and apple on the palate with nice minerality, acidity and a crisp, lingering finish.
This wine is a blend of 50% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 20% Cinsault and is vinified completely in tank. The Grenache vines here are between 25 and 60+ years old and the Syrah and Cinsault are over 30 years old. The yields for this wine are between 35 and 40 hectoliter per hectare. Raspberry and strawberries come through on the nose. On the palate I get loads of lychee and raspberry (but noting this a dry rosé), rose water, wet stone and a hint of white pepper.
Both wines are in the $12-14 a bottle range, great values and strongly recommended. I look forward to tasting the entire Robert Kacher portfolio on May 7th and his annual trade tasting in DC.