The wines from the Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise appellation are created by adding a neutral grape spirit to the partially fermented grape juice of the Muscat grape to produce what the French call a vin doux naturel (naturally sweet wine). The addition of the spirit kills off the yeasts and leaves the wine high in alcohol (15%) as well as high in residual sugar.
The house and cellars of Mme Castaud-Maurin’s lovely property are in the village of Beaumes de Venise itself, while the 17 hectares of Muscat à petits grains, 25% of which are in fact ‘noirs’, are on the lower slopes of Mont Ventoux – a quite beautiful situation.
The wine has a fine delicate character of almonds and apricots, and the use of black Muscat gives it a lovely orange tint in the glass.
Based in Chavanay, Lionel Faury makes lovely wines and has definitely moved his 17 hectare family domaine to the top of the first division of Northern Rhône growers.
The steeply terraced vineyards are on granite soils and have a south/south east aspect. The grapes (100% Viognier from vines in excess of 35 years old) are hand picked and taken to the winery where they are gently pressed in a pneumatic press to preserve the freshness and character of the fruit. Fermentation is in temperature controlled, stainless steel vats. Ageing is for 11 months with 30% of the wine going into new wood, 30% in 2-5 year old barrels and 40% kept in steel. Regular batonage (lees stirring) adds texture and character to the wine which is only lightly filtered before bottling.
The Condrieu “La Berne”, named after the previous owners of the land and refers to a specific plot where Lionel’s father first planted vines, it is wonderfully elegant & linear whilst maintaining a richness in texture. Pale straw in appearance the nose of the wine is fresh with aromas of white stone fruits, and a hint of citrus and vanilla. The palate is dry but rich and rounded with apricot and subtle peach flavours supported by an elegant acidity and minerality that leads to a long finish.
Copyright 2014 | Richard Granger Fine Wine Merchants