Els Pyreneus Rivesaltes Ambre NV (Cotes du Roussillon, France)

Jean Marc Lafage

What’s the story?

We’ve been working with Jean Marc Lafage since 2008 and his winemaking talent is undeniable.  Rather than be constrained by traditional boundaries, Jean Marc works his magic on both sides of the Pyrenees, “For a wine maker there are no borders.” He continually seeks to make captivating wines from old vines in the terroirs of Emporda, Calatayud, and the home of Vin Doux Naturel wines, Roussillon.

How’s it made?

To produce the Rivesaltes Ambre, Grenache Noir and Grenache Gris grapes are hand harvested and vinified with their skins which helps the colour of the wine begin to develop. The wine is then aged in three parts starting with 60% of the juice being pressed and aged with a Solera system. This is where fractional blending, within a set of barrels, brings about a creation that is a mixture of vintages with the average age increasing gradually as the process continues over many years. Another 35% of the juice is kept well away from fresh air in concrete tanks to add intensity to the plummy character of the wine. Finally the remaining 5% is aged outside, in demi-john glass bottles, bringing a little bitterness to the wine and developing the caramel-like colour.

What’s it like?

Rivesaltes Ambre Els Pyreneus NV is rich in colour and the nose nutty with hints of honey soaked apricots and rich roast coffee, the palate is beautifully balanced and chock-full of glacé fruits and brioche. Wines like this are often neglected when it comes to accompanying food, with so much complexity it’s often enough just on its own. However, this Rivesaltes is the perfect match on a dessert list to chocolate soufflé or cheeses such as Morbier or Cashel Blue.

4th January 2012

Company No. 2550982 | 109a Regents Park Road London NW1 8UR | Call: 0845 263 6924 | AWRS Number: XVAW00000101595

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