Rivesaltes 1971

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This wine, Domaine Sainte Lucie 1971, had spent 40 years in oak casks before being bottled in 2011. During that time, no additional wine was introduced to the original blend. This consisted of at least 50% white grapes based around the Grenache variety, both Blanc and Gris being used. The fermentation process had been stopped to kill yeasts and leave residual sugars, the ABV is 16%.

Clive Coates said the ‘rancio’ style is a taste “I have no wish to acquire”. However, this slightly oxidised, oloroso sherry-like flavour is, to me, attractive and similar to a Madeira in taste, though with more obvious fruit. The colour is a deep amber, beautifully clear with the obvious signs of viscosity. There is a notable aroma of orange peel which lends an inviting acidity to the bouquet.

The mouth feel is heavy and the orange marmalade theme is continued on the palate where there is a lovely balance of sweetness and acidity. There is considerable length to the flavour. The wine is surprisingly fresh especially when considering its 45 years.

Foods? Mmm – difficult. Strong Spanish style tapas? I had it with some salty, sharp, slightlsweet Gorgonzola. The two sweetnesses were not quite in kilter but it wasn’t bad. It could certainly stand as an interesting aperitif with some almonds.

[Richard: this came from a mixed case of old vin doux Rivesaltes, previously blogged on here].

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