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Description to Rivesaltes AOC
The appellation in the French region of Roussillon is named after the small town of Rivesaltes, north of Perpignan. It is geographically identical to the Muscat de Rivesaltes appellation and differs in terms of the authorised grape varieties. The vineyards cover around 14,000 hectares, making this the largest area for sweet, sprinkled Vin doux naturel. Of the approximately a dozen different VDN's in France (eight of which are in the Languedoc-Roussillon area), 50% of production is in the Rivesaltes. Compared to Muscat de Rivesaltes, a large number of grape varieties are permitted. The wine may be blended from Muscat Blanc, Muscat d'Alexandrie, Grenache Noir, Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Macabéo and Tourbat (Malvoisie du Roussillon), and a maximum of 10% Carignan, Cinsaut, Palomino and Syrah. There are various blends of these varieties, but also pure varieties. Other Roussillon VDN appellations are Banyuls, Maury and Muscat de Rivesaltes.
The Rivesaltes wines are produced both white and extremely dark through weeks of maceration. They are aged both in cask and in tank, which gives them different flavours and colours from light to dark. AC Rivesaltes Rancio applies to wines that mature in barrels exposed to sunlight. This results in tawny coloured wines with the typical spicy Rancio taste. With AC Grand Roussillon, wines of inferior quality can be downgraded. Well known producers are Arnaud de Villeneuve, Cazes Frères, Château La Casenove, Château Corneilla, Château de Jau, Domaine Bonzoms, Domaine Boucabeille, Domaine Boudau, Domaine des Chênes, Domaine Força Réal, Domaine de la Madeleine, Domaine de Nouvelles, Domaine Piquemal and Domaine Sarda-Malet.