Grapes: small white Muscat grapes 75%/small black Muscat grapes 25%
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 grapes are entirely handpicked and the wine is tank fermented with a yield of no more than 30 hl/ha.
Producing Muscat de Beaumes de Venise requires great care. After picking the grapes by hand, they are pressed straightaway to ferment the juice without skins. No yeasts are added and the alcoholic fermentation is kept in check by temperature control. Vin Doux Naturel winemaking involves stopping fermentation to preserve the grapes’ natural sweetness. During vinification, the vats are watched day and night and the fortifying spirit is added just at the right moment. At this stage, the wine’s final balance is at stake. The wine is then aged in stainless steel tanks for 6 months before bottling.
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.
"Peach in colour, not white. Fruits span pêche de vigne, lychee and melon, with a touch of butterscotch in the background. Fairly full-bodied, fresh, and finishes clean, not cloying. Further peach on the finish. Great sense of purity, not a hugely powerful vintage but a very good one, with balance and purity. Aged in stainless steel. 110g/L residual sugar." Matt Walls, Decanter.