This wine started life as a mistake (see below) but has turned into a unique and intriguing dry wine made from 100% late harvest Muscat petits grains, fermented and aged in the presence of oxygen to create a Roussillon version of a Vin Jaune.
Pungent orange marmalade on the nose along with dried apricots and raisins . In the mouth it resembles a dry Sherry but with the added richness of the Muscat grape. It has fine acidity on the finish and a vaguely Whisky aftertaste.
Makes an interesting aperitif wine but also forms amazing flavour combinations with certain (but not all) cheeses.
- Vineyard : Sustainably farmed gritty clay.
- Vines of 12 years in age. Yield 40 hl/ha
- Hand-picked and sorted. Transported in small caissettes.
- No acidification or chaptelisation.
- Left on skins in the presence of air for 12 hours.
- Fermented at 28 °C in an open-top tank for 8 days until dry and fortified with pure ethanol to protect the wine.
- Aged for 12 months in a half filled French oak barrel outdoors.
- Unfined and unfiltered.
- Bottled in 50cl bottles and sealed with DIAM corks to prevent cork-taint.
- 600 bottles made.
I have only made this wine twice, in 2009 and 2012. It came about initially because the press broke down during the making of the Muscat de Rivesaltes and we had to leave the must exposed to air overnight until it was repaired the next morning.
When the juice was pressed it was quite dark in colour. I decided to experiment by making a Sherry (or more correctly and Amontillado) style wine.
I fermented it in an open-top tank with wild yeasts and no temperature control. When the fermentation had finished I fortified the wine to around 15 % alcohol and aged it in a 2/3 filled oak barrel outside the winery for a year at the mercy of the elements. All that time the wine was unprotected from the air. However, the alcohol prevented spoilage.
The wine is labelled “Vin de France” as it conforms to no appellation.