Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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St-Jean-de-Minervois, small mountain village in the far north east of the minervois region that gives its name to the Languedoc’s most individual vin doux naturel appellation, Muscat de St-Jean-de-Minervois. It is made from muscat blanc à petits grains, to which alcohol is added during fermentation to produce a wine with at least 15% alcohol and 125 g/l residual sugar. Unlike these other Muscats produced closer to the Mediterranean, however, St-Jean’s vineyards are hacked out of the stony limestone and garrigue at 250 m/825 ft above sea level and the grapes ripen a good three weeks later. The elevation and less reliable weather can affect both quality and yields, which often have difficulty reaching the permitted maximum of 30 hl/ha, but the resulting wines are relatively delicate and refreshing.