Domaine de la Rectorie Voile d’Argile, Under Flor-Aged Dry White from Roussillon
This rare white wine by Domaine de la Rectorie is special is that it went through several years (2 to 4) of aging under flor (a layer of yeasts at the surface on the wine) in wine barrels, much like a Fino Sherry.
The blend is made from 90% Grenache Gris and 10% Grenache Blanc. The Voile d’Argile cuvée is made from the last pressings of La Rectorie standard dry white wine called l’Argile.
But how does it actually taste like?
This white wine aged under flor from the Banyuls area comes in a bright yellow color with golden hues of medium intensity. It shows some evolution through its gold color, but looking bright and shiny.
The nose is quite intense, and pretty unusual in a good way, in the ‘unique’ unusual way.
The green apple, salty sea breeze, and walnut notes typical of wines aged under flor (like Fino Sherry) are here. But there are much more discrete and not as dominant as they are in a dry Sherry.
Very fruity notes of dried apricot, and hints of tropical fruits such as dried pineapple and fresh mango, are the dominant aromas.
So, you get a smell of salty iodine scented dried fruits, right between a sweet and savory aromatic profile. Unique as I said!
More importantly, pleasant and intriguing to smell.
The palate is dry but with rich body, and some perceptible sweetness from a wealth of ripe fruity flavors.
In your mouth, the wine bursts in flavors of tropical fruits (kiwi, pineapple, and mango again) mixed with bitter walnut, spicy black pepper, sweet and tasty oaky vanilla, and clove. Complex and powerful. Again, a fascinating combination of sweet and savory flavors. I suspect this was made from the special under-flor winemaking went through, adding savory nutty and spicy notes on top of a very fruity and ripe base South-of-France white wine.
The finish delights by a slightly sweet fruity feel, combined a salty feel, and some dry savory but elegant oak tannins.
Certainly, a fascinating white wine experience, very unique example of a dry white wine aged under-flor without being fortified (like Fino Sherries are).
Not only the winemaking process this wine went true is very unusual, but the result: the expression of the wine in your glass is truly rare, and enjoyably so.
It offers a well-balanced combination for ripe primary fruit characters from a Grenache Gris grown under the warm sun of the Mediterranean coast, with the savoriness and spicy nuttiness of a wine aged under a veil of yeast (flor).