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Mas Belles Eaux, Languedoc

by Richard Woodard, 02/09

These notes accompany Richard's in-depth profile of Mas Belles Eaux, whose UK agent is Paragon Vintners, telephone +44 (0)20 7887 1800.

TASTING NOTES

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Mas Belles Eaux Vieux Carignan 2006
Lush fruit - wild strawberries on the nose - accompanied by great weight and balance. Some spice and heat, just a touch drying on the finish. Slightly rustic and herby, but retains freshness and length. 87/100.

Mas Belles Eaux Vieux Carignan 2007
Very tight and young, with fleshy black cherry/berry fruit. Much more pronounced tannins, but sweet fruit on the finish too. Austere, but still very young and will probably come together with time. 89/100.

Mas Belles Eaux Les Coteaux 2004
Savoury fruit, showing a little evolution. Nicely balanced, but lacking a little concentration. Still generous and well-proportioned, but feels slightly dilute. 85/100.

Mas Belles Eaux Les Coteaux 2005
Spiced, smoky, savoury fruit, much more supple and rounded. Altogether bigger and richer, with great power and length, if a little lacking in freshness. 89/100.

Mas Belles Eaux Les Coteaux 2006
Much more restrained and gentle. Builds on the palate with better acidity and freshness, to the point of austerity. Tannins much more apparent - could do with a little more generosity on the finish. 88/100.

Mas Belles Eaux Les Coteaux 2007
Young fruit, but already showing great character and depth. Needs time in the glass to bring out all the spicy flavours. Acidity present if slightly hidden, tannins well integrated. Very promising. 91/100.

Sainte-Hélène 2002
Herby, stewed fruits. Quite austere and drying - short and fast-fading finish. 81/100.

Sainte-Hélène 2003
Sweet cherries, prunes and dates on the nose. Much bigger tannins, slow-buiding power with licorice and a little heat. Retains balance, but still fades a little quickly. 84/100.

Sainte-Hélène 2004
Much better - fleshy black cherry showing more focus and purity. Ripe, but still fresh, with good tannins, great depth and structure, plus excellent fruit persistence. Excellent balance and should last. 90/100.

Sainte-Hélène 2005
Sweet, lush, generous fruit. Richer and bigger, with more pronounced spice and pepper. Warm, complex, with lingering richness, but just a little soupy. 88/100.

Sainte-Hélène 2006
Fruit has a very savoury character, building to an explosive mid-palate and finish. Aromatic and expressive, with structure behind that sweet-savoury fruit. Tannins are firm, but the fruit stands up well. Very impressive. 92/100.

Sainte-Hélène 2007
Inky black, floral young fruit - another step forward in power and concentration. Already showing a little savoury complexity. Very ripe and generous, but big structure too. Needs time to settle down. 92/100

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