Domaine de Rombeau is renowned for having one of the most replete libraries of old Rivesaltes in the region, with wines dating back to the early 20th century. The wines highlight indigenous varieties Grenache blanc, Grenache gris and Macabeu, as well as the varied elevage—with wines aged in glass demijohns and ancient barrique, indoors and out—that sets Roussillon apart. Some vintages slumbered in barrel for more than 50 years, and the ascription ‘Rancio’ denotes the prized characteristics that the wines assume over decades. Hand-picked from single barrels in minute quantities, these wines offer a glimpse into the celebrated history of the appellation.
About Domaine de Rombeau
One of the most storied estates in Roussillon, Domaine de Rombeau traces its origins to 1727, when the de la Fabrègue family first arrived in Rivesaltes from Lyon. By 1850, the family had amassed significant vineyard holdings and became of one the region’s first to bottle wine. Tanks that date from that period can still be found on the estate. The family persevered through phyolloxera and successive World Wars, continually delving deeper into the region’s traditions while remaining open to the possibilities of the future. As sixth-generation family winemaker Philippe Raspaud has said: "Tradition is alive."
Today, Rombeau farms 90 hectares from a variety of different terroirs under sustainable, organic and biodynamic practices, producing an array of wines including Muscat de Rivesaltes, Rivesaltes, Côtes du Roussillon and Côtes du Roussillon-Villages. They are most famous and celebrated for their cellar of old Rivesaltes, with vintages extending back to the early 1960s still in barrel, as well as for their Rancio sec, which includes elevage outdoors in glass bonbonnes and barrels before blending with the help of Rivesaltes legend Fernand Baixas. These are intentional wines, combining the best of traditional practice with modern acumen to produce vintage wines of both power and elegance—a benchmark of what Rancio sec and Rivesaltes was, is and can be. Full details
About Rivesaltes AOPRivesaltes is one of three great traditional fortified Vin Doux Naturels appellations of France, along with Banyuls and Maury. Its territory covers much of Roussillon and encompasses a panoply of altitudes, aspects, and soils, including limestone, granite, gneiss, argile-calcaire, and all manner of schists. Not to be confused with Muscat de Rivesaltes, Rivesaltes is produced with a variety of white or red grapes: Grenache blanc, Grenache gris, Macabeu, and Grenache noir are the most common. Subsequent elevage can either be brief, bottling during the year following harvest to preserve its fresh fruit, or extended, with wines aged a minimum of three years oxidatively—and in some instances, much longer—prior to bottling. Depending on the grapes employed, this oxidative style can be referred to as either Ambré or Tuilé. These are often regarded as the most traditional—and the most exciting—wines of the Rivesaltes appellation. The rarest and most evolved expressions are sometimes labeled Rivesaltes Rancio, in which the wines develop complex, umami-like flavor profiles due to an elevage that might extend decades with little or no temperature control—indoors or outdoors, in glass demijohn and ancient barrels—and minimal ‘topping-up’.
|Oxidative/Oxidized Wine; Fortified
|Grenache Blanc; Grenache Gris; Macabeu