La Crotta di Vegneron, Chambave Muscat Passito, Val d'Aosta DOC, Italy (37.5cl.), 2016
From the foothills of the North West Italian Alps, with vineyards set into steep slopes, La Crotta has the advantage of great growing conditions.
The vineyards are located at a fairly high altitude, ranging from 500 to 850m, and enjoy a special microclimate with little rainfall and a good diurnal temperature range. The delicate grapes like Petit Arvine, Fumin and Gamay thrive here, resulting in enticing wines with a lightness of touch and minerality.
Soils are loose and sandy on steep slopes, planted at 6500 vines per hectare and trained in guyot, goblet and cordon systems. Yields of around 7600kg per hectare.
In 1494 George of Challant gave Moscato Passito di Chambave to Charles VIII, King of France. As several documents show, this nectar was produced since the most ancient of times. The best clusters of white Muscat are left to dry in well-aired rooms; at the end of the withering process, the grapes are vinified in a traditional way with a prefermentative cold maceration of 36 to 48 hours.: the wine obtained is left to settle till the Christmas of the year following the grape harvest, including 12 months sur lie with frequent battonage.
No oak treatment
A bright golden yellow wine. The aromas are intense and persistent, floral and fruity with notes of acacia, thyme, sage, withered, violet, yellow peach, sweet almond and honey. The palate is sweet and warming, soft full and round, ending with a persistent sweet almond and honey finish.
Almond based biscuits, foie gras and strong blue cheeses.
6 x 37.5cl