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Château de Rhodes Gaillac Brut, Méthode Ancestrale [Organic] NV

Delightful bottle fermented fizz made from Mauzac: appley, light and fresh with a touch of residual sugar.
More Information
Producer Château de Rhodes
Country France
Region Other
Wine Type Champagne / Sparkling Wine
Grape Blend 100% Mauzac Blanc
Bottle Size (ml) 750
% Abv 10.5
Vintage NV
Special Features Organic, Sustainable
Extra Info Light, apply bubbles! Delish!
Food Pairing Guide Enjoy as an apéritif, or as an accompaniment to lightly spiced dishes.

Chateau de Rhodes Gaillac Brut is such great fun, a sparkling wine of real character from this interesting little corner of France. This wine undergoes natural fermentation in the bottle and so there is a touch of residual sugar that remains. With fine, persistent bubbles this has a beautiful floral nose with granny smith and apple pie flavours, finishing just off-dry and fresh. Delicious!

Somewhat off the beaten wine track now, but wine was being produced in Gaillac by the Romans long before vines were planted in Bordeaux or Burgundy, and it is home to some of France’s most unusual grape varieties. This organic, Mauzac-based, bottle-fermented fizz is wonderfully off-dry with fresh apple fruit and a light, soft finish. Enjoy with or without sunshine, before, during, or after you eat.

Château de Rhodes is in the village of Boissel, close to Gaillac in South West France. The vineyards of the south-west are some of France’s most ancient and they are home to its most varied collection of indigenous grape varieties; not to mention a host of talented, sometimes extreme, organic winemakers enthralled by the possibilities that these unusual varieties present. Contrary to the expectations conjured up by these facts, proprietor Eric Lépine is anything but a hippy winemaker. He is an urbane ex-financier who used to play rugby for France!In 2002, he bought this 20 hectare estate on some of the best vineyard land in Gaillac, covering three distinct terroirs: the terraces of the left bank of the River Tarn, the Cordais plateau, and the slopes of the right bank of the river where lies the château itself. His commitment to organics is a choice for the benefit of his family, as he believes it to be the most sustainable way to look after his land and it helps him to produce wines that are truly authentic. Eric also heads up The BIOboys, a group of like-minded, organic wine producers based in the south-west. The estate has been Ecocert certified organic since the 2011 vintage, and so no chemical treatments or fertilisers are used, yields are kept well below those permitted, and he vinifies his wines traditionally in concrete cuves using only natural yeasts.

Also known as Méthode Gaillacoise, this involves a single fermentation with no additional sugar or dosage being introduced. Along with Limoux, Gaillac can easily claim to be one of the pioneers of what modern winemakers call pétillant naturel The fermentation is stopped by a series of rackings and the wine is bottled with some residual sugar so any sweetness in the finished wine comes from the grapes. After several months, the natural sugar starts to re-ferment and this produces the sparkle. The process requires great skill and inevitably, care to achieve the correct pressure and stability but the wines are truly original.
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