The Mas de Cynanque vineyard located in St Chinian, an AOP area in the South of France, boasts one of the best natural soils of the Languedoc-Roussillon region. It lies halfway between Montpellier and Carcassonne, at the foot of the Caroux and Espinouse hills. The domaine sits on limestone pebble hillsides surrounded by a vibrant kaleidoscope of vines and scrubland. Work in the vineyard is undertaken by hand with a great deal of respect for the environment, the stock, and the grape. The natural limitations of the soil mean very low yields for the wines, averaging 20 hl/ha. Organic fertilizers make it possible to maintain the microbial life and the structure of the soils. The grapes for this cuvée have roots in a very special red sandstone substrate.
The vineyards in a Mediterranean climate benefit from the cooler air of the nearby hills. The vineyards are located on a south-easterly facing slope which makes them ideally placed to benefit from the sunshine. The winery’s ancient vines, rich in prestigious grape varieties that are traditional of the St Chinian appellation, offer the vineyard’s wines an individual complexity and distinct personality. Concentration, balance, and minerality are the key factors the owners are focused on in their winemaking.
The plots used for this wine are mostly made up of old vines, including some Carignan vines dating back to pre-1911. The grapes are harvested manually in small boxes and are sorted on the plot. After destemming, the winemaking takes place in small concrete tanks. The extraction of polyphenols and anthocyanins is carried out by the addition of must and by punching the caps of the grape skins. Fermentation lasts approximately 3 weeks and the wine is then aged in vats before bottling.
Xavier and Violaine both studied at the Montpellier School of Agriculture, during which time they became passionate about the South of France and its wineries. After different professional experiences in wineries throughout France, they soon came round to the idea of setting up their own vineyard. It took 2 years of research to find the right balance of soils, vines, and the perfect location. In 2004 they moved into their 12-hectare vineyard in the St Chinian AOC area, which consisted of an old sheep pen surrounded by scrubland. They fell in love with their little piece of paradise. The very first harvest took place in September 2004! The first grapes were housed in the garage next to their home. The grapes were turned into wine, open to the scrubland elements. In 2005, they started to build the wine cellar. The vineyard has grown from one strength to the next since then, with a storage cellar being built in 2008, then an area for wine tasting where they would be happy to welcome US wine lovers! Today, they own 16 hectares (6.4 acres) of vines, over a variety of different soils.
Food Pairing Notes
Perfect with grilled or roasted meats, spicy barbeque, and sharp, hard cheeses.
Ageability: Drink now or keep until 2030. Plein Gres means Full Sandstone.