Fortified wines come in many styles: what unites them is the addition of distilled grape sprit (or brandy) to still wines to raise the alcohol level, usually to 15-20%.
The two best known styles are sherry and port, the former from Spain and the latter from Portugal, and we will always have a selection of both.
We have a particular focus on the wonderful Vins Doux Naturels of the south of France. These are made by stopping the fermentation of very ripe grapes, part way through its course, by the addition of alcohol (a process known as mutage); thereby preventing the yeasts from working, and leaving a fortified wine with plentiful natural grape sugar and anywhere between 15 and 17 degrees of alcohol. Muscat de Beaumes de Venise is perhaps the best known example. Rivesaltes VDNs are named after the town near Perpignan, but can be made over a relatively large area, either eponymously from Muscat or a wide range of other white grapes such as Grenache Blanc and Malvoisie. Certain styles are made from red grapes, usually Grenache Noir: two appellations are Maury in the Agly Valley west of Perpignan, and Banyuls, based on the port near the Spanish border.
We may also offer examples of fortified Muscat from Australia - a superb and historic style.
Selected from one of the four farms that make up the Ramos Pinto estate and aged for ten years...
100% Palomino Fino, aged for an average of three years under flor in Sanlucar de Barrameda: an...