In a nutshell: A fresh and light aromatic, sweet Muscat de St-Jean-de-Minervois from the Languedoc.
The lowdown: This delicious Vin Doux Naturel is a sweet wines where the fermentation has been stopped by the addition of neutral spirit and resulting in a wine with a high level residual sugar and ABV of 15% in this case. St-Jean-de-Minervios is one of the Languedoc's well known examples. It's fresh, light and aromatic with a clean and delicate palate showing pineapple and floral notes with ripe tangerine undertones and a long, clean length.
When to drink: Clean and bright enough to enjoy chilled as an aperitif. It also goes well with things like an apple pie or blue cheeses.
This is a fantastic little domaine based in the hamlet of Saint-Jean de Minervois in the Languedoc region of SW France. Founded in the 1990s and run by Nicole and John Bojanowski on completely organic principles producing wines "that talk and help make magic the moments with friends sat around a table".
The landscape is rough and rugged 'garrigue' Mediterranean countryside - very rocky and scrubby, so great for vines. There's a bit of a micro-climate here with the vineyards sitting on slopes at 300m above sea level that catch the cool evening breeze and therefore retaining great natural acidity. This is balanced by hot days in summer creating ripe grapes with good structure and depth.
In some ways the domaine is a bit old school, being on the smaller end of the scale yet growing 15 different varietals, quite a few of which have been there a lifetime. In 1999 they 'discovered' that they actually had 6 acres of old vine Carignan and from there on in a love affair with this historically forgotten about 'blending' grape ensued resulting in the big, powerful and deeply impressive 'Lo Vielh' wine.