Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

MWG November 11th tasting: Mistelle nouvelle

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Well, nouvelle to me in any case. This has been part of Janisson-Baradon’s lineup for at least a decade. Until 2005, only one small cask – around 300 bottles – was made per vintage (the “single cask” designation was originally something of a joke). Production has reportedly since tripled.

Ratafia de Champagne 2010, Single Cask, Janisson-Baradon ($55.25/700 ml, private import, 12 bottles/case)
A vin de liqueur or mistelle — a mixture of alcohol (often marc) and fresh grape juice — similar to Jura’s Macvin or Gascogne’s Floc. In this case, the juicy grapes are Pinot Noir harvested in 2010 (the juice comes from the third and final pressing) and the alcohol is neutral spirits so as not to interfere with the other flavours. Matured two years in 225-litre, third-fill oak casks. Lightly filitered before bottling. At least 140 grams sugar per litre. 18% ABV. Quebec agent: La QV/Insolite.
Nothing like the insipid industrial vins de liqueur, this looks, smells and tastes like an artisanal product. The impressively complex nose features fig, spice, brown sugar and a hint of milk chocolate. On the palate, it’s rich and sweet but not heavy or cloying, thanks in large part to the lively acidity. Echoing the nose, the flavours are sustained through the long, layered finish. Contemplation-worthy. (Buy again? Yes.)

Like Pineau des Charentes, ratafias are often drunk as an aperitif. This, however, is more appropriate for the end of the meal – on its own as a digestif, with blue cheese or accompanying a rich, spicy, not overly sweet dessert like a cinnamon-scented, nut-rich persimmon pudding. The producer also recommends it as a pairing for foie gras. Why not? Whatever you serve it with, make sure it’s well chilled.

(Flight: 9/9)

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Written by carswell

December 4, 2014 at 16:43

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