After years of searching and waiting and yearning for wine from the Mas Gourdou, I finally landed a half case from DePrez Wine & Spirit in Croton-on-Hudson, New York. I listed this wine as one of the five things to consume before you die, and I was in occasional communication with the winemakers about availability. Could they ship to New York? Non. Could they ship to Berlin? Désolé. Grr.
The Mas updated its website recently with a U.S. importer, and finally, I’m in wine heaven:
I considered it a steal at $12 a bottle ($15 for the 2003). At the tasting where we discovered it, on a table covered in dirt with an old vigneron behind it explaining to tourists what a mas is (and how to pronounce it—with the ess) we paid 4 €, and the retail price in France is 8 €. Shipping was only $10 with FedEx ground, and it came overnight.
The question remained, though: had I put this wine on a pedestal over the years? It was one of the first wines that I got excited about, and it was during that first bottle that I appreciated spiciness in wine. Anyone who has been out to dinner with me has probably seen me ask the waiter about which wine is the spiciest; that’s all related to my first taste of this wine.
I’m not a wine person at all, and I’ve never swirled except facetiously. I can’t talk about what it smells like or anything. But the 2004 it is exceedingly good (the 2003 remains unopened), and I consider it a wonderful value, although it’s more than I usually spend except on a special occasion. (For people who think that makes me a cheapskate, you should be aware that New York has endless options for decent wine under $10, and even under $5. It’s one of the few cheap things in this town.) It’s not as intense and amazing as I remember it, but I’ve had hundreds of wines between then and now that have surely conditioned my palette. Wine was almost completely new to me at the time.
In any case, I intend to keep bottles of Mas Gourdou in my tiny wine rack, probably for sentimental value above all, but also because it’s a solid, heavy wine that would impress a dinner guest. If anyone sees it turn up in a Manhattan wine store, please let us know about it!
DePrez Wine & Spirit
440 South Riverside Avenue
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520