Multiple varied Vin Doux Naturel

View of Banyuls-sur-Mer

Hans had invited to a wine tasting and announced to offer only one or two small courses – however, there were much more courses. Hans just returned from a journey through Roussillon and the Rhone Valley, where he had bought a variety of Vin Doux Naturel. For the dessert, a chocolate cake with honey olive jelly, he opened some of them.

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Macvin – Tradition of the French Jura


Macvin Blanc du Jura Château d'Arlay

The name Macvin is more reminiscent of Scotland than the French wine-growing region of Jura, where the Macvin production has a long tradition. It is said that there has been a wine named Maquevin or Marc-vin already in the ninth century. The name Marc-vin indicates that Macvin consists of the french brandy Marc and wine, which means that it is a alcohol-fortified wine.

However, this is only partially true, because the Macvin is made from must according to the AOP rules. This does not exclude that the must already may have started fermentation. The Macvin may be red, rosé or white. In the red and rosé versions, only the … Read more ...

Matured by the Foehn – Jurançon


© La Cave de Gan Jurançon
© La Cave de Gan Jurançon

Around 1,500 km separate the foothills of the Alps south of Munich and Jurançon in France, but despite this distance, both have a climatic similarity: the Foehn, a dry warm wind from the mountains, always blowing from the south. In wine-growing areas north of the Alps, in the autumn, the grapes intended for the production of a sweet wine can dry and rosinate in the vineyard on the vine, naturally concentrating the sugars. A well-known example of a sweet wine that benefits from the Foehn is a Flétri from Valais.

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1963 Vin Doux Naturel – jewel of Puig-Parahÿ

The Domaine Puig-Parahÿ is known for its Vin Doux Naturel (VDN). Nearly 50 vintages of Vin Doux Naturel, which are stored in Passa in the cellars of the Roussillon-based winery, are marketed. Many of these VDN date back to the last century. For Parker’s Wine Advocat, David Schildknecht had tasted just under a dozen of these VDN Rancios by Puig-Parahÿ from vintage vintages from 1875 to 1998 in 2009. They have been rated with 90 to 98 points, the majority with more than 95 points, on average with almost 94 points.

Ripened VDN are in high demand, especially those of Puig-Parahÿ, which is reflected in the price. … Read more ...

Elegant Vin Doux Naturel – Muscat de St.-Jean de Minervois


If you now and then like to drink a glass of fruity sweet wine, but the wine does not last long even in the fridge, you should try a Vin Doux Naturel (VDN) of Muscat grapes, which lasts much longer than most other sweet wines because of the way how it is produced.

The Muscat Vin Doux Natural, produced in different appellations, are almost all made from the grape Muscat Blanc de Petits Grains, as well as all all VDN originating from the Languedoc. The Muscat de St-Jean-de-Minervois, which we have tasted, originates from about 300 m high vineyards in the northeast of the Minervois. In these locations, … Read more ...

Pineau de Charentes – Vin de liqueur with Cognac

The Pineau de Charentes, a liqueur wine, is produced in the Cognac region, more specifically from the departments of Charente, Charente-Maritim and Deux-Sèvres. To produce a Pineau brandy from the AC Cognac is added to the fresh must of grapes, only a few hours after they have been harvested. The must may have started the fermentation and must have in any case more than 170 grams of sugar per liter. The cognac must have an alcohol content of at least 60%, be at least one year old and aged in wooden barrels – even a longer maturation is possible.

The Pineau de Charentes, which exists in white, … Read more ...

Floc – Vin de liqueur of the Gascony

The list of French Vin de Liqueur is long. The Floc de Gascogne liqueur wine is not only drunk as an aperitif or as a dessert wine but also enjoyed with other dishes – an impression promoted on the website of Floc de Gascogne. The Floc de Gascogne, coming from the Gascony, located in south-western France, is composed of grape juice and Armagnac. There are both red (rosé or rouge) and white Flocs (blanc), each corresponding to the color of the grape juice. Armagnac and grape juice must come from the same farm, according to the appellation rules, and the producers are therefore located … Read more ...

Vin de Paille from Côtes du Jura

On the western foothills of the Massif de Jura, along the road N 83, there is, in an altitude of about 200 to 400 meters, the approximately 650 hectares large wine-growing area Côtes du Jura. In a semi-continental, rather cool and with about 1100 mm annual precipitation also rather wet climate, there are produced about 25,000 hectoliters of wine per year, mainly (~ 2/3) white wine, the rest red wine, Vin Jaune and also about 550 hectoliters of Vin de Paille, as straw wine is called in France.

Two white varieties Chardonnay and Savagnin and also two red varieties Poulsard and Trousseau may be used to produce Vin Read more ...

Matured sweet wines – fresh and youthful

Hans had already opened some excellent wines to the excellent French dinner, including, for example, a 2013 Chevalier Montrachet from Domaine Leflaive and a 2005 Le Pavillon from Chapoutier. For cheese and dessert he had selected matured sweet wines, from German predicates such as Spätlese on Vin Doux Naturel to Madeira – all excellent.

1994 Niederhäuser Herrmannshöhle Spätlese, Dönnhoff
Quince, pear and white peach on the nose, delicately smoky. Very fresh on the palate, prominent acidity, mild fruit, juicy, lean, mineral notes. Excellent wine, which proved to be an ideal companion to Fourme d’Ambert with quince jelly, because it took out the pungency of the cheese and brought out its … Read more ...

Grand Cru from the Loire – Quarts de Chaume

Weinyard at the Loire © Pixabay

Château Bellerive cultivates twelve hectares of Chenin Blanc-planted vineyards in the commune of Rochefort-sur-Loire. Part of this community is located in the 54-hectares Quarts de Chaume appellation, which is also part of the nearly 3400 hectares AOC Coteaux du Layon.

Quarts de Chaume wines,- concentrated, expressive and extremely long-lived -, have the status Grand Cru, which can also be labeled on the label – the wines of the Coteaux du Layon appellation may only be labeled Premier Cru.
The Grand Cru status is due not only to the very low yield of 20 hectoliters per hectare, but also to the location. The vineyards in Quarts

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