Mas Karolina Catalanes Rouge 2021
Caroline Bonville comes from a well-known Champagne producing family, but grew up in Bordeaux. Mother, father, and sister all remain in the wine business in one of the two places, but not her. Instead, Caroline put down roots and chose to raise her family in the Roussillon, the deep south of France, in the face of the majestic Pyrenées, and not far from Spain.
This is grape-growing wild style in this part of France. There's extreme heat, no water, no other vegetation, and very few other wineries. It's no surprise villages like Maury, Rivesaltes, St. Paul, and Thuir hardly even register on the wine map. But that doesn't bother Caroline. She goes about her business with intensity and a dash of audactiy. She knows well that growing wine would be easier somewhere else, but the reward not as great.
I watched her "work the room" at a local restaurant in Maury this past year and came to understand her motivation. At once she held a deep conversation with the manager about balancing life and work, all the while entertaining a raucous group of rugby players with one bawdy story or another. Its the all too necessary mindset in this hardened part of France and her wines reflect their maker at the end of the day. That's all we can ask for.
Caroline's 'first' wine is a teeth-staining Grenache blend that pours from the botte like black ink and saturates the tongue with a rich, succulent dried fruit salad of flavors. Lovers of concentrated, powerful wines will dig this any day of the week, with any meal! And on a hot summer day, maybe even a little cool. Why not?