The vin doux naturel wines of Southwest France are quite unique. Similar to Port they are fortified with neutral grape spirit to stop fermentation and thus retain some naturally occurring sugar. The alcohol content is typically somewhere between 15% and 20% and the wines drink more like an aged fortified desert wine.
The wines spend some time in oak during which they gain character and complexity and then are transferred to demi-muids, foudres or demijohns for long storage.
At 40, 50 or more years of age they are wines of great majesty, full of fig, raisin, dried flowers, citrus, nuts, and other intriguing aromas and flavours. The alcohol and sugar ensure that wines age for decades.
The amazing thing is their low price. The wines typically sell for between $250 and $500 a bottle - even if they are over 50 years old. That is remarkable for the time and effort put into making and storing them.
And for those of you looking for a birth year wine from one of the more tricky vintages Rivesaltes is a godsend. You can find vintages like 1956, 1965 and 1968 all deliciously drinkable from Rivesaltes but tough going from anywhere else in France (or perhaps the world).
Overnight I purchased a lovely selection of these ageless wines going back to 1935. Prices start at under $200 a bottle!
Click here to view our selection on line.
You may order by email to email@example.com or phone (03) 9326 5737.