#ArrogantFrog New Releases: Plenty on the Lily Pad for $10

Arrogant Frog $10 French Wine

Arrogant Frog $10 French Wine

I admit that I always have the best of intentions to do a blog post (or two or three) following each twitter tasting I do (and I do 1-4 a month or thirty or more a year), but more often than not, even though I usually have one person dedicated to taking notes, and we usually have some great images of the wines and the food we paired them with from posting them on twitter, too often that’s all it is–best intentions for a dedicated post although I often sneak in a reference or a review into another blog post. I figure I did my “job” of tweeting and I better move on to other writing projects (on this or another of my blogs or poetry or essays or?)

I know of at least one blogger and prolific tweeter, Marcy Gordon, who is cutting back to only six twitter tastings a year so she can focus more on other activities. I know for me sometimes I wonder if my time that I spend on a twitter tasting would be better spent on writing.

However, at this point, I will continue to say yes when I am invited to participate because I always learn something–maybe something new about the region or wine making, or, in the case of the #Arrogantfrog twitter tasting, about the farming and the sustainable practices of the Paul Mas brand which you can watch here on this ustream link: .

We tasted these four wines which all retail for a remarkable $10 a bottle:

  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Chardonnay
  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir
  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2013 Arrogant Frog Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot

Notes and other details follow.

I was aware of Jean-Claude’s focus on farming because of his family heritage as winegrowers, but I was especially aware of this because I had invited a farming friend, Lucas Thayer aka @OccupyChevy and his sweetheart, Brittany Wallace who is a budding wine enthusiast. As we cheered on his wines, we also cheered for his attitudes about growing grapes and making affordable yet sustainable wine or as Lucas tweeted:.

First up was 2013 Sauvignon Blanc which was low in alcohol, with citrus especially grapefruit on the nose with gooseberry and kiwi, very crisp, clean and classic and which they suggest pairs well with frogs legs (taste a lot like chicken they say!):

 

This would be lovely with a lemony garlicky cesar salad–don’t hold the anchovies! Also an arugala pesto–we had it with an arugala beet salad. Plenty of fruit AND acidity.

Second we tasted the chardonnay which is accessible, not oaky but fresh green apple and some tropical fruit, summery, but with a sharp finish we diminished with a creamy bavarian red cheese. Again a very classic interpretation that says “chardonnay” to those who are looking for a lot of wine for $10. Mostly chardonnay, this has 15% viognier, 13.5% alcohol, and three months aging in oak barrels.

Third was a very pretty garnet Pinot noir from 23 year old vines. I spent last weekend tasting a lot of Pinot noir that retails from $25-75. This wine does not taste like that. But for $10 it’s hard to beat. Again, it’s what I think of as a classic Pinot noir with lots of cherry and a little strawberry, some spice, some earth but not overwhelming.

Occupy Chevy suggested this would be a great hiking wine–the perfect wine for a stroll up to Two Trees and then to have a picnic with it because it is not heavy on the palate but light and delightful. It went great with salami, pepperoni and grilled sausage made from wild turkey.

Our fourth and final wine of the tasting was a cabernet-merlot blend which is very flavorful, not overly oaked (most aging done in stainless steel), lots of cherry fruit and black fruits, licorice, and vanilla. The Rogue creamery blue cheese that we paired it with brought out the cherry even more. Another great wine for $10–very balanced. This is the one we drank the most of during the tasting–and then after because we paired it with filet mignon with gorgonzola!

Records show that the Mas family grew wine grapes in Languedoc region of the south of France over a thousand years ago; these lands were later dispersed during the French revolution. In the 1950s, Raymond Mas, the grandfather of the current winemaker Jean-Claude Mas purchased vineyards and renovated and grew the estate to its current size of nearly 50 acres planted mainly in Chardonnay, Merlot, Viognier, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

As a fourth ­generation vintner, Jean­Claude Mas is a leader in premium winemaking in the Languedoc region. Since taking over in 2000,  according to press documents, “his driving mission has been to grow only premium quality grapes to craft superior wines with a modern, New World flair while keeping a strong character for each of its wines.” Today the winery is a 1200 ­acre estate committed to sustainable viticulture that also contracts with 80 growers to collectively farm nearly 2800 acres, “making Domaines Paul Mas one of the Languedoc’s most influential wineries. Above all, Mas strives to make wines with authenticity and refinement, the end result of which is a family of magnificently charming wines that burst with personality and express their unique terroir.”

LAST WORDS FROM THE LILY PAD: The next time a friend tells me they don’t “get” French wines, and they don’t want to spend a lot of money, I will definitely be recommending Arrogant Frog.

During the tasting, Jean-Claude said that he makes wines that are just as good the following day–which is not true of a lot of wines in the $10 price range in my experience. Often, the wines that are at this [rice point are too flabby (too much fruit adn not enough acids) and they fall apart. While I can’t speak for the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay because I gave those to Brittany and Lucas to enjoy and finish, I can say that the sauv blanc and the cab sauv held up.

The only thing that would make this wine better, more ecological and better for our lily pad? Take it out of the bottle and put it in a box! This would be a great wine for a picnic, camping, or a party or to keep around the kitchen for cooking or when you just want a simple glass of wine and not open a whole bottle.

One thought on “#ArrogantFrog New Releases: Plenty on the Lily Pad for $10

  1. Pingback: The next time a friend tells me they don’t “get” French wines by Wine Predator | Arrogant Frog

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