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Sainte Marie

The great white wine of the domain in AOP Limoux

Style

Sainte Marie is the great white wine of the domain from one of the oldest vineyards of Chardonnay in Limoux, produced since 1989 in Roquetaillade. Full, rich and complex but also fresh, with an incredible longevity of more than 20 years.

Varieties

Old Vines of Chardonnay + 20% of Chenin Blanc for vintage 2016.

Where

Plot selection, 'Sainte Marie' vineyard in Roquetaillade, one of the highest of the Haute Vallée de l'Aude at an altitude of 400 m. Clay-limestone soil.

Vineyard

Vines trellised to 2 m high, organically grown. Natural grass and compost covering the middle of the rows and plowing around the vines. Balanced vines, no green harvesting or fertilizers. Attention to detail, small yield of 30hl/ha, hand-picked when fully ripe, grapes picked and transported in small cases to avoid any crushing.

Winemaking

Press is loaded by gravity (conveyor belt) with whole grapes: no crushing or destemming. Only the best first-run juice selected. The press juice is not used in this wine. Fermentation without sulfite or yeast in oak barrels of 3 years of age (500l) to avoid excessive woody tastes.

Ageing

Ageing in barrels for 9 months on fine lees without racking and without much filtering of lees. Bottled at the domain after light filtration.

Analysis

Alcohol: 13.5%; total acidity: 4 g/l; pH: 3.30.

Tasting note

Rich full-bodied wine yet with lovely acidity typical of the Upper Valley allowing long ageing. Subtly oaked, very enjoyable when young (touches of grilled hazelnut) or after 5 years to discover its astonishing keeping potential. Some great vintages still going strong: 2000/2002/2009/2011 (91/100 at Tasted Blind by Andreas Larsson) - current vintage 2016.

Serving

As an aperitif when young, and for mature wines at tertiary evolutions, with fish, crayfish, chicken with truffles, foie gras or white meat in a sauce.

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