Thursday, 8 April 2010

Languedoc Roussillon - Muscat de Lunel

Muscat de Lunel's vineyards are established around the town of Lunel, halfway between Montpellier in Nimes, in bullfighting country. The appellation is located on deep clay soil with red, siliceous, fragmented stones. The large rounded pebbles of Alpine Diluvium, known locally as “galets”.

The wine is made from the Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains grape and it's considered that this grape is one of the oldest in existence. It was called Anathelicon Moschaton in Greece and Apianae in Italy (so named because of the fondness that bees (Latin apis), have for the grapes). The Greeks and Romans brought it to France via Narbonne.

Muscat de Lunel has been prized for centuries - in 1647, when the Prince of Conde stayed in Lunel, he drank the Muscat wine. Louis XIII stayed 3 times in Lunel and also drank Muscat, as well as Richelieu and Mazarin. In 1750, Jean-Jacques Rousseau described the Muscat of Lunel as the best Muscat of Europe.

The Muscat of Lunel was one of the three wines that Pauline Borghese used to send to his brother, Napoleon Bonaparte, when he was exile in St. Helena.
The local cooperative website is here.

2 comments:

lostpastremembered said...

Ahhh.. another wine with long history.. which tastes the best, I wonder??? What is your favorite?

Sue said...

I like Muscat de Saint Jean de Minervois - I am posting about it tomorrow! And another old favourite of mine is Beaumes de Venise from the Rhone :-)