Mas Theo L'imprevu
About the wine:
Grapes: Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvèdre
Region: France (Southern Rhone)
Features: Organic, Biodynamic
“L’imprévu” translates to “the unexpected”. This is a tank of Syrah mostly that was placed on the side waiting for the yeast to complete sugar level. After 4 years the fermentation finally restarted and the residual sugar was totally consumed allowing the wine to be bottled.
About the producer:
Mas Théo is located at the heart of Drôme Provençale in the appellation Grignan-les-Adhemar. This little-known appellation from the Southern Rhône consists of 1,730 hectares with 32 vignerons and eight cooperatives.
Laurent took over his family farm in 1999 with 33ha of vines, 23ha of meadow and 16ha of lavenders. He decided right away to farm organically and got his certification in 2004. His passion for wine lead him to create his own winery and this is how Mas Théo was born in 2005.
Clapier’s winemaking roots begin with his great-grandfather, Gabriel Théolas, who was a colorful figure in the village, so much so that the elders named his own vineyards Mas Théolas, now just Mas Théo. Gabriel also left at least two other recognizable marks on the Mas Théo wines of today: one wine bears his nickname P’tit Gaby and his 1908 Mogul tractor is proudly displayed in the winery.
Upon launching Mas Théo, Laurent began to branch out beyond the organic certification and tested some biodynamic practices. He saw a real impact with the holistic approach. There was more life and energy in the vineyard upon introducing biodynamics, and now Laurent has entirely adopted this philosophy. Mas Théo got its biodynamic certification (Demeter) in 2011. The winery is also a perfect fit to this approach. Laurent was lucky enough to take over an old quarry cave called “les caves cathedrals” located in the village of Saint-Restitut. This unique cellar is dug into thick-walled, chalky rock—a perfect environment for the aging process. The temperature is constant all year-round and give a perfectly smooth cocoon for his slumbering wines.
Mas Théo farms with a deep respect for his land and the soil’s life, so one is not surprised to learn that the wines are finished with no additive at all except for a touch of sulfites before bottling. The style of Laurent is to preserve the fruit of the must without aggressive extracting, just by finding the right balance. It took 13 years to come to the US market and there are so many things coming together for a very promising future.