Rivesaltes is a sweet, fortified wine from the commune of the same name in the deep south of France, close to Perpignan and the Spanish border. It’s made in a similar way to Port, the addition of grape brandy stopping the fermentation early and leaving the wine higher in sugar and alcohol. There’s a more oxidised effect to Rivesaltes though and for that reason they’re a bit more like Madeira.
With a minimum three years in oak barrels and two years in bottle, this speciality of Dom Brial is such a treat. Golden amber in colour and with thick tears in the glass, the nose is a concentration of sweet dried fruits, toffees and Christmas pudding spices. The balance on the palate is exquisite — viscous and sweet, dried apricot and candied orange combining with vanilla toffee, with a tangy citrus peel acidity and dry, piquant nuttiness giving the wine a savoury dimension and mouthwatering finish.
Serve up with some Roquefort or Cashel Blue, or any chocolate dessert.
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