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A single plot, planted exclusively with Muscat à Petits Grains, is used in the production of this wine. Facing the sea and exposed to the rising sun, the parcel enjoys some shelter from the heat of the afternoon sun in July and August. Special care is given to vine management, debudding, and removal of a portion of the foliage on one side of the row (maintained on the other), so that the clusters can ripen under the best possible conditions. The ripening process is closely monitored, because the weather can be quite hot at the end of the August, leading to a rapid rise in the fruit’s sugar content. The harvest begins when the berries’ sugar content reaches 15% by volume, which is the minimum required to produce Muscat de Rivesaltes. This parcel is harvested exclusively in the morning, so that only fresh grapes are taken to the maturation storehouse. Harvesting typically occurs in late August or during the first days of September.
The sorting table represents the first stage of wine-making: it is a meticulous process, because some of the grapes will naturally wither during the long ripening period. As with white and rosé wine-making processes, the berries are separated from the stems and drop-loaded into the press. The juice is gradually extracted and tasted at regular intervals. It is immediately refrigerated. After clarification, fermentation begins under very strict temperature controls. This lasts approximately one week, after which the wine is fortified. This operation, which is specific to vins doux naturels, involves adding a pre-defined quantity of alcohol to put an end to fermentation. The density at which that alcohol is added will determine the sugar content of the wine. Muscat de Rivesaltes is aged exclusively in vats, over the space of several months, after which it is bottled in May/June of the following year.
It has a bright color with intense glints of gold. Its nose combines complex notes of exotic fruits and white flowers with touches of mild spices, like cinnamon. It is full-bodied and fresh. A slight hint of vanilla rounds out its flavor palette.
|Ambient temperature||10° - 12° C|
|Durability||1 - 5 years in profile "young"|
|Production||4 000 bottles|
|Encepment||100% Muscat à petits grains|
|Hl / Ha||20|
|Food and wine pairings||Aperitifs, foie gras, Roquefort-style cheeses, creamy desserts, cookies|
|Appellations||AOC Rivesaltes Grenat|
|Type de vin||Vins Doux Naturels|