Muscat de Riversaltes is an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée in Roussillon, for fortified wines using the Muscat grape. These wines are classed Vins Doux Naturels, or naturally sweet wines, and are a speciality in the area. Sandwiched between the French Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, the Roussillon region is very conducive to the production of Muscat, a particular sunny location leading to very ripe fruit.
Now in its fourth generation, Domaine Cazes are no strangers to wine production. Founded in 1895 by Michel Cazes, Emmanual Cazes is the current winemaker. Along with Vins Doux Naturels – a speciality of the area – the family also produce dry wine. A natural approach to production is central to their enterprise, reflected in their 1997 move to completely organic and biodynamic winemaking practices.
Produced from late harvest fruits, the Muscat grapes are either pressed immediately or undergo skin contact in cool temperatures in the remaining batches. Fermentation is stopped with the addition of grape spirit, preserving the natural grape sugars. A fine balance between richness, texture and sweetness is achieved by ageing the wine for five months on its lees.
Works really well with a “Pineapple Tatin” in particular; also a bowl of simple, but more exotic fruit salad (such as ripe pineapple, sable grapes, mango), especially if served with meringue and cream. Otherwise just delicious to sip on its own after dinner.
Suitable for vegans and vegetarians.