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Rivesaltes Ambré, Domaine de Rancy 1992
Domaine de Rancy
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Domaine de Rancy, extolling the virtues of their extraordinary long aged Rancio Sec and Rivesaltes VDN made (principally) from the white grape maccabeu. Based in the village of Latour de France in the Vallée de l’Agly, Jean-Hubert Verdaguer and his wife Brigitte were the first in the village to sell all their production in bottle back in 1989. Jean-Hubert’s father Marcel founded the domaine in 1970, he used to take red grapes to the co-op while concentrating on making Rivesaltes (maccabeu) that he sold to private customers 'en vrac'. Their 50yo+ vines occupy prime hillside sites in the villages of Latour-de-France, Estagel and Montner, planted in a mix of schist and limestone soils. They have always looked after their land and vines sustainably, and with important holdings of maccabeu (12ha) they were a natural port of call for Cyril who buys his grapes here, picked early at a time of his choosing to make his Hors Champ dry white La Femme Soleil.
Late harvested grapes were fermented in cuve, before the fermentation process was arrested by the addition of home-made marc. It was then given 24 years élevage in old demi-muids, not topped up at any stage before bottling in 2017. A deep amber, tobaccoey colour, it offers a herbal, medicinal nose, with prunes, saffron and typical saline edge. The palate is rich but silky and seamless (there’s no heat whatsoever), with fig and prunes, orange peel, totally integrated sugars, umami and salinity leavened by an acidic cut and a super long finish. It would be extremely difficult to find a better Vin Doux Naturel and even the finest Tawny Ports would suffer by comparison. For drinking now to 2035.
Producer Domaine de Rancy of Jean-Hubert Verdaguer
Origin Latour-de-France, Pyrénées-Orientales, France
Grapes 95% Maccabeu, 5% Grenache Blanc/Gris
Alcohol 18% ABV
Style Dessert wine
Bottle size 750ml
Notes Biodynamic, Natural, Organic