Maury Sec, Mas de la Deveze, Roussillon 2013
Maury Sec, Mas de la Deveze, Roussillon 2013
You may well have heard of ‘Maury’, the sweet vin doux naturel from the Roussillon, but you may not yet have heard of ‘Maury Sec’, the dry, Grenache-based red wine from the same region, but that’s probably because it has only recently been granted AOC status (Appellation d’Origine Controllé). It’s our job to keep our ear to the pulse and our finger to the ground, and you wouldn’t have much respect for us if we said that we had discovered a fantastic wine called Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but what if we said we knew of a small appellation recently established in the hilly hinterlands of the Agly valley, that could produce wines to rival the best wines of the Southern Rhône? You might read on at the very least.
If you have ever been cornered by a wine bore at a party telling you how he used to buy Chateauneuf-du-Pape for three and sixpence and still had change for a penny whistle, then this is your chance to fight back, because Maury Sec is on the rise and those for whom Chateauneuf-du-Pape has now become too expensive are setting their sights on this burgeoning region, which is buzzing with untapped potential. Decanter Magazine’s feature writer, Andrew Jefford, suggests that "Chateauneuf-du-Pape is a far larger and far more accomplished appellation at present, thanks to its longer fine-wine evolution – but I can see a time, a few decades hence, when great Maury Sec might challenge it for frontier flavour and power allied to the complexity which only great terroir can bring."
We think this bottling, from the hugely talented yet humble, Simon and Nathalie Hugues, is a magnificent ambassador for the appellation and we strongly urge you to find out what all the fuss is about. As ‘Maury Sec’ only came into being in 2012, this is one of the very first wines to emerge.
Tasting Note: When Keats wrote “O for a beaker of the warm South” in his poem ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, he must have been yearning for a glass of something like this. It captures all the rich and succulent ripeness characteristic of the south of France and adds some warming spices for good measure. It is a beautiful, bold, delicious Mediterranean red, full of satisfyingly plush fruit, suggestive of dark plums, mulberries and blackcurrants, tempered by chocolate covered raisins, mocha and vanilla. A wine as full-bodied as this might struggle to rise to its feet if it didn’t have a lively personality and the juicy blackberry acidity is the lifeblood that gives it its joie de vivre. Made predominantly from Grenache Noir with one third Syrah and dash of Mourvedre, it was aged for 18 months in barriques to soften its wild intensity and it’s already a decadent pleasure to drink now, but will age for a decade if not more. If comparing it to its natural competitor, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, I would comfortably drop it in the £25-£35 price bracket, it’s easily that good, so it really is a snip at £17.95. 14.5% alc. Drink now-2026.
The Wine Advocate: "The 2013 Maury Sec is a terrific value, although there’s less than 300 cases to go around. Made from 60% Grenache, 30% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre that was raised in a mix of larger oak barrels and demi-muids, it has a pretty, slightly modern feel to its cassis, blackberry, peppery and sweet oak bouquet. This gives way to a medium to full-bodied, beautifully pure Maury Sec that has enough tannin and density to keep through 2023."
Decanter: "Very darkly coloured, with lifted scents of pounded rock, round coffee and wild mint. On the palate, this is chewy, deep, concentrated, tapering away towards herbal bitterness at the end, but with intensely fruit-saturated acidity (dry cherry and dry plum). A wine of magnificent architecture." 92 points
Andrew Jefford: "Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a far larger and far more accomplished appellation at present, thanks to its longer fine-wine
evolution – but I can see a time, a few decades hence, when great Maury Sec might challenge it for frontier flavour and power allied to the complexity which only great terroir can bring."
"I was given a couple of bottles of the Maury Sec, I thought first one was amazing so though I'd better try the second one to make sure it wasn't just the moment it was being consumed in. The second bottle was amazing too!" - Mr. M.W., August 2016
"I have been taking the Mas de la Deveze to some dinner parties/ lunches and it has been a huge hit." - Ms. A. H., November 2016