Incredibly, Raymond Amiel won the deeds to this property in 1816 from the Bishop of Perpignan in a game of cards. The estate is now owned and run by Olivier Decelle and has helped to raise the profile of this domaine, now the leading producer of Vins Doux Naturels in the area. The older wines are aged outside in glass demijohns for one year before being moved into large, old oak casks to finish their maturation. Exposure to the sun and deliberate oxidation gives them a wonderful nutty, spicy, “rancio” flavour. Served chilled, they go perfectly with strong cheeses.
The Mas Amiel Vintage, made from 100% Grenache, is rich and sweet with silky black fruit flavours. It is the perfect wine to go with fine dark chocolate. Its versatility and style is impressive for the price point. The older wines are made up of 90% Grenache with 5% Maccabeu and 5% Carignan. The 10 ans is a powerful wine with notes of roasted coffee and crystallised cherries. Smooth and elegant, it is an absolute must with chocolate and pairs more unusually with the finest game. The 15 ans has more complexity with tobacco and chocolate dominating and a finish that lasts and lasts. The 1980 has intense aromas of powdered chocolate and fresh fig with refreshing hints of peppermint. On the palate it has a powerful attack, followed by its remarkable acidity for a wine so old. Best with Comté cheese or desserts based on chocolate and dried fruits.