Napoleon lived on St Helena for 6 years to ruminate in his defeat at Waterloo. That bitter taste was tempered somewhat by the wines of Muscat de Lunel. This sweet, golden Vin Doux Naturel was one of the few refreshments dispatched to him during his remaining years in exile. Muscat de Lunel shares many similarities to its cousin Beaumes-de-Venise to its north. The same galets that are so well known in the Rhône pepper these vineyards just north of Montpellier. Lunel shares Beaumes-de-Venise’s fragrant, floral notes, but has a richer texture, adding a bit of fatness that would not shy away from a bit of Roquefort or any other Languedoc cheese one can conjure up.
La Tour de Farges
On the road from Lunel Viel to St Genies des Mourgues, at the summit of a hill surrounded by the famous Muscatel vines, a small grove hides La Tour de Farges. The recorded history of the Tour de Farges begins in the 16th century, when the property belonged to Jacques de Farges, apothecary and perfumer. Since the end of the 18th century, the Tour de Farges has belonged to the Sabatier d’Espeyran family and today belongs to Irene Sabatier d’Espeyran-Roussel. The proprietor during the 19th century, François Sabatier, was a well known patron of the arts. Throughout the years, La Tour de Farges has been an international cultural salon filled with a creative spirit. That spirit has found its current voice in the fragrant, lively elixir coaxed from the slopes of the property today.
Muscat de Lunel AOC
The Muscat de Lunel AOC dates from 1957 and covers four communes between Nimes and Montpellier: Lunel, Lunel-Viel, Vérargues and Saturargues. The Estate La Tour de Farges is one of the oldest estates in the appellation. Muscat de Lunel is made from 100% Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains ("white Muscat with little berries"), which is generally regarded as the best of the Muscat grape family. It is a low-yield variety that produces small, round grapes, which vary in color from white to pink to dark reddishbrown. Château Tour de Farges exploits 36 hectares of vineyards located on the tops of the slopes. The Mediterranean soil is characterized large rounded pebbles (galets) that are so often championed in the Rhône as the intricate to the distinct character of the wines. Harvest is done by hand and yields are just 30 hectoliters/hectare.
Delightfully fruity and spicy nose with hints of crystallized tangerines, moorland honey, ripe apricots and freshly ground cinnamon. Like the extroverted nature of the Mediterranean people, it possesses a personality which can tackle a wide range of dishes, and is particularly delicious with freshly baked desserts.