Jean-Hubert Verdaguer and his wife Brigitte are based in the village of Latour de France in the Vallée de l’Agly, where they have 50yo+ vines occupying prime hillside sites. They specialize in producing oxidative wines and prefer to pick late harvested Macabeu in the autumn when the grapes are over-ripe.
The production of Rancio Sec is non-interventional, you don’t need to sulphur up your barrels, top up to prevent oxygenation, or add anything at the end of a long élevage that naturally stabilizes the wine.
Well accustomed to exercising patience with their élevages, the Verdaguer picked the grapes late in 2008 (no mention of vintage on this bottling but subsequent versions will do). Jean-Hubert presses the grapes and ferments the wine dry, gives it eight months élevage on the fine lees in cement, before transfer to 100yo 600ltr demi-muids for 10 years barrel ageing, not topped up and with no veil (which doesn’t form when the alcohol is 15% or higher). As the Rancio Sec ages and gently evaporates (at a rate of about 5% a year), its power is tempered and the incredibly complex ‘goût de rancio’ develops; umami-driven flavours as well as chestnut, almond and dried fruit aromatics emerge.
50 cl, 17% ABV. Natural cork.
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