Domaine de Durban Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise 2011
To walk through the high-altitude vineyards at Domaine de Durban is to walk through history, a handful of the soil reveals ancient Roman roof tiles and medieval pot shards. The scenic views put one at pause considering the timelessness—wine has been a part of the culture here for millennia. Jacques Leydier bought the property in the 1960s when the farm had fallen into disrepair. Today, Henri and Philippe Leydier run the domaine and this magical spot has assumed a higher purpose, producing some of the most memorable wines of the Southern Rhône. The Leydiers farm fifty-five hectares, producing a powerful Gigondas, a velvety Beaumes-de-Venise Rouge, and undeniably the most celebrated Muscat in the entire appellation.
Recognized for its high elevation vineyards of Grenache and Syrah, Beaumes de Venise is one of the few villages promoted to Cotes du Rhone Villages status. The region also produces the famous Vin Doux Naturel, made exclusively from the best Muscat variety, Muscat blanc à Petits Grains. The enticing, floral aromas of these Muscat-based fortified wines make them ideal for early consumption and do not require aging.
There are hundreds of white grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles.