2017 Mas Zenitude Zizanie
Region: St Jean De Fos <Languedoc <France
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic practices, organic certified & member of Vin Natur; grown in limestone and clay soils; no use of pesticides or artificial fertilizers; hand picked grapes, sent to fermentation tanks by simple gravity & pressed according to traditional method; fermented with indigenous yeasts and no filtration or fining; no additives are ever used; orange wine with ten days of skin contact during maceration; 18 months in 3 year old 225L French oak barrels; battonage; no sulfur added at bottling; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Erik Gabrielson
You can't help but share in Erik's passion when you meet him - he exudes love, dedication, and true stewardship and connection to the land that he farms. We had the opportunity to taste the Mas Zenitude wines last year as he was eating and drinking his way around San Francisco. We adoringly rested our chins in our hands as he spoke of a pursuit to return winemaking to its roots, grounded in traditional techniques that respect the land, the vines, and the natural processes that transform the fruits of the vineyards into his unique and gorgeous wines. Maybe it was his adorable Swedish accent, but it was poetic.
His journey, after acquiring the vineyards in 2006, was personal - one that takes an intimate understanding of the land and commitment to the craft. He used established practices of biodynamic viticulture, while also cultivating some of his own practices, unique to place, along the way. Through this, he returned the vineyard to a more natural, low-intervention style of winemaking. Erik's passion has been rewarded in many ways as the wines have responded to reflect an organically balanced terroir that is more authentic and sustainable. But the more noble reward, was the welcome return of native birds, insects, and wildlife to the land, after many generations they have been missed by locals. Erik proclaims he is dedicated to offering wines with an attitude and individuality. Mas Zenitude wines are certainly that - sensual and tugging at your emotions, they feel familiar and like a brand new experience at the same time, lighting up your senses with their vibrant aromatics. The wines evolve in the glass, celebrating a natural, rhythmic sense of place and a certain liveliness. They defy the shortcomings of modern assembly line wine production.
The skin contact Zizanie has vibrant copper hues and a nose that jumps out of the glass...wildflowers, bitter orange, raw honey (with no sweetness on the palate). It was fun to taste a wine with soft but distinct tannins pair perfectly across the meal with aged cheeses, shellfish and spicier Asian inspired dishes. Orange wine lovers, you need to try this. Serve slightly chilled, but not as cold as you would a straight white.