Soleilla means sun in Occitan, the ancient language langue d’oc. Mas du Soleilla is beautifully situated, close to the sea, in the region of La Clape in Languedoc, not far from Narbonne. The climate is hot and dry, the soil very chalky and stony. The wines, which are both red and white, are generally of good quality. There are a total of 24 estates here in La Clape and all of them can find traces on their properties that go back to Roman times, “says owner and winemaker Peter Wildbolz at Mas de Soleilla.
Mas de Soleilla was created in 2002 by Peter and his wife Christa Derungs, both from Switzerland. Peter worked at the time already as a wine maker. When he found an isolated vineyard of 8 hectares in the middle of the garrigue in the La Clape area, he knew he wanted it. 2002 was the first vintage and now the surface has increased to 22 hectares.
The white wine in La Clape is made of a minimum of 50% of the unusual grape bourboulenc. There are only 500 hectares world-wide of this grape and 300 of them are here in La Clape. Mas du Soleilla Sphinx Blanc is made with bourboulenc and 30% roussanne. It has a lovely aroma of flowers, apricot and a little honey and the oak is well balanced.
For the red wines Peter uses syrah, grenache and a little mourvèdre. I particularly like Mas de Soleilla Les Chailles, a fresh, fruity wine with no oak ageing. Grenache dominates and the aroma of black berries, spices such as mint and rosemary and the good structure makes it a superb wine to combine with Mediterranean food. Mas de Soleilla Les Bartelles has been 15 months in oak barrels and here the syrah grape is very evident on the nose. A complex, high class wine. Clot de l’Amandier is a blend of syrah and grenache. Full-bodied, with pleasant spicy aromas and with a good balance. A wine to be enjoyed with lamb, duck or game, says Peter.
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