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Fontanel, Rivesaltes Ambre, 2015

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Jancis Robinson

Fontanel, Rivesaltes Ambre, 2015

This Vin Doux Naturel (literally naturally sweet wine - see below) is one of the most distinctive and exciting wines in our entire stock. From late-picked, 60 year-old vines of Grenache Blanc and Gris, the Ambré - amber - tone develops... Read More

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Fontanel, Rivesaltes Ambre, 2015
Fontanel, Rivesaltes Ambre, 2015




GrowerDomaine Fontanel

Grape VarietyGrenache Blanc







Dry > Sweet


There’s something very complete about our annual offer of wines from the Languedoc and Roussillon: with whites, rosés and reds, and wonderful fortified wines, the Vins Doux Naturels which are such a speciality of the region, there should be something for all tastes. Secondly, there are wines for every budget; at every level we believe these wines continue to offer terrific...

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Domaine Fontanel

Tautavel, France

Things have changed at Domaine Fontanel, but with a sense of continuity. Elodie and Matthieu Collet bought the domaine from Pierre and Marie-Claude Fontaneil in 2017 and have already made a name for themselves, being elected no less than Vignerons de l'Année (Roussillon) du Guide Hachette 2019.

After both graduating as agricultural...

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Jancis Robinson

We get super excited when Jancis Robinson (or one of her team) write about our wine!

Voted the world's most influential wine critic in polls in the US, France and internationally in 2018, Jancis views herself as a wine writer rather than a wine critic.

She writes daily for and weekly for the Financial Times. She is founder-editor of The Oxford Companion...

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Here’s the full tasting note for...

Fontanel, Rivesaltes Ambre, 2015

This Vin Doux Naturel (literally naturally sweet wine - see below) is one of the most distinctive and exciting wines in our entire stock. From late-picked, 60 year-old vines of Grenache Blanc and Gris, the Ambré - amber - tone develops after at least five years of mildly oxidative ageing in barrel (and here it’s kept a lot longer before bottling). Pure clear amber hue. This offers intriguing fumes: dried figs and dates with a spirity lift. The sherry-like oxidation is more apparent on the palate - the dried fruit and apricot liqueur notes give way to the nuttiness of an old oloroso. Not over-sweet, but airy and fragrant. This makes a wonderful partner to hard cheese such as aged cheddar, dried fruit and nuts. Now-2028

Six years in barrels, stored in the roof of the winery, so the temperature changes a lot with the seasons. "Very complex almost Islay-whisky-like aromas: smoky, tobacco, peaty, toffee. Lots of oak but it's sewn into the seams and the fruit is abundant. Apricots and pecans, orange-pickle bitterness. This inspired a long conversation about food pairings, which kind of tells you what this wine is like. I would love to try this with coronation chicken or caramelised onions and garam-spiced chickpeas. They pair it with mango sorbet. Long, nutty and seedy finish." 17.5/20, 2023-2045, Tamlyn Currin,, 15th February 2024

Vins Doux Naturels are made by stopping the fermentation of late picked, 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, unfermented grape sugar and between 15 and 17 degrees of alcohol. It’s an ancient art which probably came over the Pyrenees from Moorish Spain with the medieval spread of distillation – and examples of VDNs are now found across the south of France, as far as Beaumes de Venise and Rasteau. These are wonderful, distinctive fortified wines - port-like but with lower alcohol levels and without the tannins.

Great choice of good-value wines in the January sales. The website is really easy to use to make up an order. Delivery, as is often the case, was within 24 hours and, as usual, was well-packed.

J Windle

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I've bought a couple of cases recently, and many more in years gone by, and have really enjoyed their selection. They have a good range of interesting wines from some classic and some more…

Nicholas S

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Judging by the wines I have had, someone is doing a very good job in selecting the wines to put before the public, and at a very fair price. Delivery from online purchases as also been quick and…

Brian K

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Great company with good service and good prices. Highly recommended.

Albert H

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One of my favourite independents. Been enjoying these special wines for more than 10 years. Always interesting choices, and always great value in the sales!

David M

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This was yet another quick and painless transaction, as I have come to expect from SV&S.

Richard T

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