Mas d’Alcyon is owned by Gilles Gasq, former winemaker at Domaine Montpertuis, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Searching for good terroir to establish his own organic vineyards in 2001, he had the foresight to focus on the valley spanning the communes of Violes, Travaillan, Jonquières and Camaret-sur-Aigues, an area which, in 2005, was granted ‘named’ Côtes du Rhône Villages appellation status. Plan de Dieu (the ‘Plain of God’) is reputedly named from a period in the Middle Ages when an attempt to cross the valley, then a scrubland forest terrorized by bandits, ultimately meant committing your soul to God. Gilles’ commitment was more peaceful - to tend his vines following organic methods – and in 2001 he established Mas d’Alcyon near Velage, on a large alluvial terrace hewn out of the tributaries of the Aigues and Ouvèze. Vineyards lie just 100m above sea level and soils are a combination of Pliocene blue clay and sandstone, which sustain the naturally low yielding vines during the arid summer months. At times the cleansing and drying Mistral sweeps through the vines, aiding the organic viticulture practiced by the estate for almost two decades before gaining official certification in 2018. Vinification is traditional, with fermentation in concrete tanks and a long maceration period. A blend of Grenach Noir and Syrah, Mas d’Alcyon is presented in the regulation Plan de Dieu bottle, embossed with the appellation coat of arms featuring a bunch of grapes topped by a halo.
Full-bodied and textural with smooth, ripe tannins. The nose has liquorice and red and black fruit, which carry through to the palate with a salty, mineral edge. Structured yet approachable, the finish is long with hints of coffee and spice.
Chicken and mushroom pie, or a lentil moussaka.