Being Swedish ourselves we always find it interesting to meet Swedish winemakers. Like Erik Gabrielsson, whom we met in September at his domaine Mas Zenitude, in Languedoc. Erik is from southern Sweden and works as a lawyer in Malmö. He bought Mas Zenitude, a domaine of 5 hectares, situated outside the small village of Saint Jean de Fos in the Terrasses du Larzac area, four years ago. The old and beautiful mas is originally from the 12th century and has been transformed over the years.
Erik has a passion for terroir wines; wines with a personality. He thinks there should be a story behind each wine. He has chosen biodynamic viticulture because he thinks it is the best way to obtain this terroir taste in the wines. And also because it helps the vines to develop their own defence system against diseases. “It is relatively easy to be organic in this area”, he says; because we have the tramontane (a northern wind) more or less constantly and it keeps the vineyard dry.” He uses only low levels of copper and sulphur.
Eric recently launched his very first vintage, 2009, and the wines are very promising. The have a personal style, they are quite lively and with a very good fruit. The white Solstice 2009, with Clairette och Grenache blanc has a nice aromatic nose with a hint of peaches and it is round and full bodied with a certain freshness. Zizanie 2009 is an exciting wine made with only Clairette och with three whole days of skin contact. This was actually an experiment that turned out very well! The wine is full bodied and structured and I quite like the touch of petroleum on the nose. The red Equinox is a blend of Merlot and Carignan and you find all kinds of wild berries on the nose. It has a good tannin structure and is a very pleasant to drink with any kind of meat. Vent d’Anges (a play with words! – means wind of the angels but when you pronounce is it means also harvest) is made from very old Carignan and they give the wine complexity and a solid fruitiness, it is a powerful wine, yet elegant.