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Domaine de Montesquiou Terre de France 2014 Vin de France

(Code: MONT/TERRE/14)
£ 13.25
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	Domaine de Montesquiou Terre de France 2014 Vin de France
Vintage
2014
Region Jurançon - south-west of Pau, in deepest SW France
Colour/Style Dry white, aged in oak barrels for 10 months
Grapes 65% Gros Manseng, 30% Petit Manseng, 5% Camaralet
Alcohol (a.b.v)
14.5%
Food Aperitif, soft cheeses, lemon chicken, risotto, seafood
Next day 
Even better - keeps for days in the fridge
Drink Now, or over the next 5 to 8 years
Please forgive the long note, but this really is a fascinating wine. This is essentially the same blend as Cuvade Préciouse (see above). They occasionally experience a "stuck" alcoholic fermentation, due to the grapes being so ripe and concentrated. To qualify for the Jurancon Sec appellation, the residual sugar must be no more than 4 grammes per litre, whereas the fermentation occasionally stops whilst there is still somewhere between 8 and 12 g/l. And whilst it is possible to kick-start the fermentation again (by increasing the temperature) winemakers Fabrice and Sébastien Montesquiou feel that the resulting wine would not be true to the style of wine they are looking for. And so they bottle a few barrels (no more than 4, so by my calculation, around 1200 bottles) of this rather wonderful nectar. It isn't your typical "super cuvee" - it is a wine made by necessity, rather than design - but exhibits all of the qualities of Cuvade Préciouse, only with the volume turned up to 11(!) 

The nose offers masses of honeyed, sweet-smelling quince and apricot aromas, laced with aromatic herbs and spices, orange blossom, honeysuckle and a judicious lick of oak. And yet it still has that lifted lime oil and mineral quality so typical of Jurançon Sec - you can literally smell the acidity and immense freshness, even before you take a sip. Indeed, for a wine with such immense concentration (and an abv of 14.5%) it really is quite staggeringly juicy and refreshing, with barely a hint of alcohol, and the most complex array of flavours you are ever likely to encounter in a young, dry white wine. It manages to combine the same zesty lime/orange fruit, herb and spice qualities as Cuvade Préciouse, not to mention similar levels of acidity and minerality, whilst achieving perhaps even more depth and elegance. I'm not sure if my enthusiasm for this wine is quite clear enough, but just in case it isn't, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that it is the loveliest white wine to have passed my lips this year - indeed for many a year. If it were Burgundy (for there are indeed certain structural similarities) it would be a top 1er Cru at the very least. It really is utterly wonderful and more-ish. And at the price, a really quite remarkable bargain! Biodynamic.

For (yet) more information on this fascinating wine (and Domaine de Montesquiou in general), see the Leon Stolarski Blog.