Orange Wine from Domaine des Trinités
Orange wine (also known as skin-contact wine or even amber wine) is something that's been around for many years. Not many people seem to know or have come across it; so for the people reading this that aren't familiar with the process of orange wine, it is white grapes fermented with the skins on - as apposed to just the juice being fermented. This process gives the wine a slight tinge of orange from the colour of skins (some are darker than others depending on time and grapes) it also gives the wine tannins which are normally associated more with reds.
It's beneficial to go into this wine thinking its not going to be anything like you have tried before, as its a different idea all together. It should offer more structure than white wine, with more complexity, and a longer, powerful palate. Recently I tried an Orange wine from Domaine des Trinités called L’invité. I could go into depth of the technical details but all you probably need to know is that the wine has as little interference as possible. This particular wine is not fined nor filtered with no sulphites added - crack out the bottles it won't give you a headache!!
Thinking about this wine with my Sommelier head on, it is a wine that is quite exciting when it comes to food pairings. As a Sommelier you want different wines that the public aren't that familiar with and your trying to serve them something different that they haven't had before. As well as being a perfect accompaniment to the dish. It is to make that experience of the customers evening with you memorable. This wine ticks those boxes, its a wine people are not used to, its different because its a halfway mix of white wine and red wine and its exciting for food pairings because of the tannic structure and powerful weight of the wine. It would also be a wine that would stick in the customers head for being memorable. It means you could pair with foods that have more complexity than you could with a white wine. The wine is a Sommeliers dream, well until it becomes so popular its not interesting anymore…
Appearance - On appearance the wines colour is orange/amber and is very cloudy. The murky aspect is a sign of the lack of filtration.
Smell and Taste - The nose is yeasty, and some have said it reminded them of fresh local cider that untouched, frothy, natural style. There is a tropical fruit on the nose but not what Viognier is normally associated with - this is a lot more refined, not held back, but not as expressive. The palate has very good weight, and it is intense and structured yet balanced. Again your tastebuds are surprised as the dominating fruit you expect isn't there with the orange wine. The flavours of yeasty apricot and apple skins but they are restrained and elegant. The tannins are well integrated and well balanced with the fruit. The tannins in the wine are unexpected, but they are not out of place - they add a depth and structure, balancing out the weight of the wine.
Judgement - The L’invité is a beautifully made wine and I am excited about the range of food pairings that can work with it.