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Mas Coutelou

Five generations of the Coutelou family have tended vines and made wine in the village of Puimisson, 10 kilometres or so north of Béziers. In 1987 Jean-Claude Coutelou converted the domaine to organic practices (one of the first in France to do so) as well as expanding the number of hectares under vine.
 
Jean-Claude's son Jean-François - known to everyone as Jeff - previously worked as a teacher in Paris, occasionally working on the vines and in the cellar during visits home. He finally took the reins of Mas Coutelou full-time in the early 2000s, upon which he immediately began experimenting. After having tasted some of the "natural" wines emerging in other regions of France, he decided to follow a similar path. As a result, all of Jeff's wines have been ‘sans sulfites’ since 2006, with an obsessive approach to cleanliness in the winery and a shot of CO2 at the bottling stage ensuring that the wines are beautifully clean - and also with the ability to age.
 
Jeff has also planted many different trees, shrubs and flowers on the perimeters of his various vineyards, in order to promote biodiversity. The 13 hectares of vineyards are now planted with over thirty different grape varieties - some very rare - with yields of around 35 hl/ha. 
Jeff Coutelou
Mas Coutelou vines
 
In this part of Languedoc, the landscape tends to be dominated by regimented, heavily-ploughed (and often heavily chemically treated) vineyards, for as far as the eye can see. Pretty, of course, but a monoculture nonetheless. I can confirm - from an extended tour of the vineyards, with Jeff and his loyal friend Icare the dog - that Mas Coutelou is a genuinely green oasis, very much alive and brimming with flora and fauna.
 
You can find lots more information about Mas Coutelou on the amarchinthevines blog, written by my friend Alan March, who has spent a good deal of each of the last few seasons working with Jeff, both in the vineyards and winery.
 
 
Mas Coutelou 7 Rue de La Pompe 2016 Vin de France
40% Syrah, 40% Merlot, 20% Grenache
Medium bodied - aged in vat
£ 11.75
Mas Coutelou Couleurs Réunies 2018 Vin de France
A blend of up to 10 varieties of all colours
Medium/full bodied - aged in vat
£ 15.95
Mas Coutelou Flower Power 2015 Vin de France
A blend of at least 8 varieties
Aged in vat - medium-full bodied
£ 17.99
Mas Coutelou Mourvedre 2016 Vin de France
100% Mourvedre - aged in vat
Medium/full bodied
£ 19.99
Mas Coutelou La Vigne Haut 2018 Vin de France
100% Syrah
Medium/full bodied - aged in vat
£ 20.99
Mas Coutelou L'Oublié Version 2018 Vin de France
Syrah, Carignan & Cinsault
Full-bodied - aged in old demi-muids
£ 23.50
Mas Coutelou Vieux Grenache Solera NV Vin de France (50cl)
Grenache - from soleras up to 200 years old
Unfortified, dry-to-off-dry, intense and nutty
£ 32.99