Country: France Varietal: Fortified Region: Roussillon
Vintage: 1997 Category: Wine
"Based in Rivesaltes, Domaine Cazes was founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes. Today, with 220 hectares in production, it is the largest certified organic and biodynamic estate in France. The wines are now made by Emmanuel Cazes (the fourth generation). The decision was taken to move to organic and biodynamic viticulture in 1997. Situated in a vast amphitheatre between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, the Roussillon region is the sunniest area of France, with a wide variety of soil types. The soils in the Cazes vineyards are a mix of limestone and marl, with some 'galets roulés' (the 'pudding stones' also found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape). Since the vines have been farmed biodynamically, the Cazes family have found that not only are the vineyards healthier, but also the vines are stronger, with deeper roots.
The vins doux naturels are a speciality of the Roussillon generally and of Cazes specifically, although Cazes also produce a range of fresh and minerally dry wines. The 'Canon du Maréchal' wines in particular combine good quality with affordable pricing. They are bottled under screwcap to retain their freshness and have a moderate 13% alcohol. The 'Ego' is a step up in quality and displays complex notes of plums, spice and touches of leather, with delicate tannins and a lingering finish. The vin doux naturels are of stunning quality and regularly win awards at international competitions."
Product Features: Certified Biodynamic;Sustainable;Vegan;Vegetarian
Winemaker: Emmanuel Cazes
Situated between the French Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, the Roussillon is the sunniest area of France, giving very ripe grapes, which are perfect for the production of the Vin Doux Naturel sweet wines. These are a speciality of the Rivesaltes area. The wine was made from the native Grenache Blanc variety, from vineyards on clay and limestone soils, covered by large wide pebbles that radiate the heat back onto the vines at night-time (these are the Galets Roulés that are famous in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape area to the north).
The white grapes were pressed before the fermentation started at 18°C. The wine was fortified using natural grape spirit, which caused the fermentation to stop and left a sweet wine with 16% alcohol, which is relatively light in alcohol for a fortified wine. The wine was then aged for twelve years in old, large oak barrels. Over time, the wine gently oxidised, leading to a darker, amber colour (hence the name 'Ambré') as well as a richer, smooth palate and huge depth of flavour.
Deep amber in colour, with aromas strongly reminiscent of dried fruit and candied citrus fruit peel. On the palate it is rich and unctuous with a lovely balance which prevents it from cloying, dark and nutty with great intensity and a mineral character on the finish.
Food Suggestion: Delicious with desserts based on nuts, almonds or caramel.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV:16% Classification: AOP