Beaumes de Venise Wine
We first shipped the Leydier family's golden-hued Muscat de Beaumes de Venise from their Domaine de Durban in 1978 and haven't missed a vintage in the ensuing 41 years. Made from both the Blanc and Noir strains of Muscat à Petit Grains by a process of mutage where fermentation is arrested by 'fortifying' the young wine with grape alcohol. It has a wonderfully perfumed bouquet of apricots and orange blossom and a succulent ripe peach palate with a richly-honeyed finish. Traditionally it is served as pre-prandial 'pick-me-up' but it makes a versatile partner to fruit-based desserts.
In 2005 the red wines from Beaumes de Venise were promoted up to full Appellation Contrôlée status which incentivised the Leydiers to stop selling their red grapes en vrac to local négociants and start producing their own red wine. Their 'Vieilles Vignes' cuvée is made from a blend of 70% Grenache Noir, 25% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre. With a deep garnet robe, ripe cherry and berry aromas and full-bodied stewed black fruit palate with spicy undertones, it is a quintessential southern red and an ideal partner to rib-sticking rustic dishes like cassoulet.
An even more recent addition to this list is an excellent 'Vin de Pays' Viognier that exhibits bags of varietal character with bright stone fruit scents and flavours and a fresh, clean finish. It makes an uplifting aperitif and is great value for money.