Aperitif and dessert wines with strong personalities, the 'vins doux naturels' (naturally sweet wines), reflect the expertise and the image of La Maison Cazes, which scrupulously keeps its manufacture and aging process a secret. The famous Muscat de Rivesaltes, with its exotic fruit and citrus aromas, and the unmissable Rivesaltes Aimé Cazes are part of this range of exceptional wines that are present on the Michelin-starred tables of the world. Rivesaltes Ambré, aged for 15 years in oak barrels, reveals a multitude of eastern flavors!
Rivesaltes starts out as a red or white wine. Like other dessert wines, Rivesaltes is fortified with neutral grape spirit during fermentation, which halts the process. The remaining wines are sweet and high in alcohol, clocking in at an average of 15.5% ABV. Fortification stabilizes the wine, killing yeast and any bacteria that would create off-flavors or aromas. Then--and this is where it gets crazy, folks--winemakers put the wine in 5- to 10-gallon glass bottles called demi-johns and leave them outside...for a year. The wine is covered to prevent debris from getting inside, but otherwise Mother Nature is allowed to wreak absolute havoc on the juice. Temperature swings, humidity changes, sunlight, and darkness all affect the wine, transforming fresh fruit flavors into "cooked" or caramelized ones. Sunlight changes its color.