One of the most interesting, and enjoyable, things we’ve tasted in years.
Experimental and dedicated écologiste winemakers Franck and Véronique Terral are one of the first to produce an orange wine in Bordeaux, this 2017 vintage, of just 500 bottles, the first they made.
It’s a 50/50 split between Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris, made naturally — organic grapes, hand-picked and fermented naturally in native yeasts with no additives, sulphur or other interventions whatsoever. Orange wine is white wine made like red wine, the orange-amber colour coming from extended contact with the skins and seeds (45 days in this case), imparting colour, tannins and phenols more normally associated with red wines.
This is very different but we absolutely adored it on first sampling. It is pale amber in colour, clear at the rim and with fine golden tears after a swirl. The nose is an unusual combination of autumnal aromas, bruised apples, toasted almonds, burnt butter and even a hint of hops, almost amontillado sherry-like. The palate though is most remarkable, a firm, dry, minerally texture that coats the mouth and, flavour by flavour, reveals dried fruits, nuts, honey, fig and citrus characters, with a refreshing bone-dry, piquant finish.
Serve lightly chilled, 8-12 degrees rather than straight out of the fridge, and enjoy as an aperitif or after dinner drink with a cheeseboard or savoury dessert.
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