Petit Manseng (375ml)
This crazy grape produces a Sauternes-style dessert wine in southern France in the regions of Jurançon and Pecherenc du Vic Bilh, a white wine appellation superimposed on Madiran, where I received my tutelage in postmodern winemaking techniques from my guru, Patrick Ducournau.
This obscure ancient grape of the Muscat tree is highly aromatic and achieves very high sugars while retaining exceptionally high acidity. It was treasured by the ancients because it stops fermenting while still sweet, producing a luscious dessert wine without the need for modern sterile filtration.
To enhance its aromatic richness and complexity, we fermented in the presence of Acacia wood chips to add a honeysuckle element to the nose and some tannin structure to the mouth. Each year we bottle two-thirds and return the rest to barrel for increased aged complexity before blending in the following year’s new wine.
Use it as you would a Sauternes, with chocolate mousse, strawberry shortcake, or just by itself. The French like it with half-shell oysters or duck foie gras.