comprises 4,000 hectares (9,884 acres) divided among 86 villages in the Pyrenees-Orientales department and 9 in the Aude. Established on December 29th, 1997, the appellation defines several styles of Rivesaltes: Ambré (amber), Tuilé (brick), Grenat (garnet), and Hors d'Age (beyond age). Made from Grenache Blanc, Grenache Gris, Macabeu, Malvoisie du Roussillon, Muscat à Petits Grains, and Muscat d'Alexandrie, Rivesaltes Ambré is matured under oxidative conditions for at least two years in vats or foudres (large barrels). It sports a lovely deep golden or amber color and distinctive aromas of hazelnut, almond, walnut shell, candied citrus, and toast. Red Rivesaltes (which is 75% Grenache Noir) is bottled young and stored under oxidative conditions for at least 12 months, three of which in bottle. It has a charming dark ruby robe and berry aromas (cherry, blackcurrant, raspberry, and blackberry). Rivesaltes Tuilé (50% Grenache Noir) is matured in large containers with air contact for at least two years, which gives it a pretty brick color with brown or orange highlights. During this élevage it also develops aromas of coffee, cocoa, tobacco, and candied fruit (fig, prune, strawberry, and quince). “Hors d'Age” may be added to the titles Ambré and Tuilé for wines aged at least five years.
This appellation takes its name from the town of Rivesaltes. The name is Catalan for “high rivers,” for the three rivers (the Agly, Têt, and Tech) that sculpted the relief of terraces and hills. The soil here is quite varied: some soils are white, such as the rounded stones on the mid- and upper terraces, and the granitic arena of the Albères Massif; others are red, like the clay and silt found in the foothills of the Corbières and the Aspres; still others are black or brown, like the schist in the Agly Valley. Some of the greatest expressions of the terroir are found at Domaine Sarda-Malet, Domaine de Rancy, and Domaine La Casenove.
More informations on the website of the wines of Rivesaltes