“Selling wine to the French is like selling hamburgers to Americans.” Or at least, that was Jean-Claude Mas’ (pictured) thinking when he started Domaines Paul Mas, in France’s Languedoc region, which includes the quirky cheapie brand, Arrogant Frog (tastings). Hence he focused on the export
I recently tasted my way through a couple of hundred samples from Dan Murphy’s, mostly imported reds and whites, and I was amazed at the quality of many of their exclusive cheapies. These wines focused on the under-$50 area; most were under $20. The value-for-money
Paul Mas Marsanne, Pays d’Oc 2011 $7 The bright medium-yellow colour reveals some age development, while aromas of toasted nuts and rich fruit and yeast-lees characters translate precisely onto the palate. It has masses of rich fruit, and lemony acidity counters a slight suggestion of
Paul Mas Cabernet Sauvignon, Pays d’Oc 2011 $7 From France’s Languedoc comes a very decent cheap, quaffing red. Meaty, charcuterie and toasty woodsy aromas; simple plummy fruit underneath, which is not all that cabernet-like but quite tasty, finishing with a definite grip. Best young. 13.5
It is possible Jean-Claude Mas has the greatest range of value-for-money wines in the world. I certainly scratch my head trying to think of someone who might beat him. They’re French wines, but inspired by the New World. Arrogant Frog is his best-known brand. You know the label: an insect-gobbling amphibian impersonating a biped, with a jaunty beret, cravat, walking-stick and a glass of wine in one flipper.