Domaine Ravanès Le Renard Blanc 2014 IGP Pays d'Hérault Coteaux de Murviel

(Code: RAVA/REN/14)
£ 37.99
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Domaine Ravanès Le Renard Blanc 2014 IGP Pays d'Hérault Coteaux de Murviel
Region Thézan-les-Béziers, 10km north of Béziers
Colour/Style Dry white - full bodied, fermented and aged 1 year in barrel
Grapes 75% Grenache Gris & Blanc, 25% Maccabeu
Alcohol (a.b.v)
Food Fish, chicken, pork, paella, oriental dishes 
Next day 
Even better - takes 2 or 3 days to show its best
Drink Now to 2030 or longer
The estate's flagship white, from 80 year-old Grenache Gris and Blanc and Maccabeu vines. Following on from a tasting of older Domaine Ravanès wines I presented to my local wine group in early 2023, we managed to secure a few bottles each of several older vintages (between 2005 and 2015) from the estate's "library stock". And whilst the reds have an undoubted ability to age for many years, these vintages of Le Renard Blanc also serve to illustrate the remarkable age-worthiness and positive evolution of the white wines, over at least 20 years. With extended maceration on the grape skins, followed by a year's ageing in oak barrels, the freshness of youth slowly gives way to a gently oxidative/nutty style, as it ages, much in the way of an old-style white Rioja (think of the Reservas and Gran Reservas of Lopez de Heredia) though with slightly less woody character.

Medium, limpid straw/gold colour. At 9 years of age (tasted October 2023) this vintage is definitely at the "in-between" stage of its evolution, with just a hint of that typical nutty/oxidative style beginning to peep through. Complex aromas of baked apple, citrus peel, freshly cut hay, ginger, thyme, oregano and curry spices, with subtle polished wood and floral notes. Spicy, herby and nutty, with flavours of spiced apple and raisin, lemon/lime oil and Seville orange, with bags of earthy, wet stone minerality. Beautifully focused, with all of those lovely flavours wrapped around a core of laser-like acidity and a modicum of grape tannin, with huge length on the finish. Another lovely wine, which is a pleasure to drink now, but will be even better in another 5 to 10 years. Delicious!