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paul masDomaine Paul Mas has mastered the business of selling inexpensive French wine to the export market. Sourced from vineyards located in Languedoc, Jean-Claude Mas makes wines in the ripe, smooth style that succeeds on the international market. Domaine Paul Mas (named for Jean-Claude’s father) is the largest privately-owned winery in France outside Champagne.

Red berry and a hint of the garrique (thyme, rosemary, lavender) aromas characteristic of the south of France but marked by prominent chocolate notes that mask the herbal qualities.  In the mouth the wine is juicy, but not overly ripe, spicy, with plenty of bright acidity that turns tart on the finish. The tannins stay well in the background. Medium body with a smooth texture, this is a decent wine with enough French character showing to make it interesting for less than $10, although it is pushing in the “international” direction with the prominent chocolate notes.

A warm, generous wine that resonated with Al Green’s Love and Happiness.

Score: 87

Price: $9

Alc: 13.5%