Happy New Year!
Our first blog entry of 2019 is dedicated to a small selection of fine wines from Domaine Malmont in the Séguret commune of the Southern Rhône: powerful yet elegant wines demonstrating the enormous quality to be found in this incomparable region.
Domaine Malmont: attention to detail
Nicolas Haeni, the young Swiss winemaker of Domaine Malmont devotes particular attention to detail in his methodical approach to vineyard management and wine-making, privileging freshness and expression over power. Until 13 years ago the Malmont site – the ‘bad mountain’ so called since the Middle Ages because it seemed to be of no use for agriculture – was covered with forest trees. Today, terraces (pictured below) built with the help of experts from the (equally steep) Priorat wine region in Spain, are perfectly inclined at 3% to allow ideal water flow. While not certified organic, environmental sustainability is a key theme at Domaine Malmont, especially with regard to maintaining a natural, living soil in the vineyard.
While predominantly a producer of reds, Malmont also bottles a remarkable white wine, a varietal Roussanne, the quintessential white Rhône variety: the Séguret Côtes du Rhône AOC Blanc 2017 combines beautifully aromatic complexity and freshness. There is balance and tension in this round, supple wine, with delicate white flower, pear and citrus aromas underpinned by intriguing minerality. This is a fantastic pairing with creamy seafood dishes, vegetable risotto, as well as red or green Thai curries, Hong Kong-style roasted chicken and … Singapore chilli crab.
Moving to the reds, the Côtes du Rhône AOC Rouge 2016 is a peppery blend of Syrah (65%) and Grenache, the first variety providing black cherry aromas, the second the soft warmth of its sweet fruit and heady dried Mediterranean brush herbs (garrigue) notes. Powerful and concentrated, it manages to keep a refreshing edge thanks to well-managed ripeness and finely grained tannins. A great match with a vegetable couscous, stuffed peppers or eggplants, it is equally delightful with all kinds of Singaporean and Indian dishes.
More concentrated and muscular, the Séguret Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC Rouge 2016 allies power with elegance. Also a blend of Syrah (60%) and Grenache, its dark cherry fruit mingles with haunting violet and seductive pepper notes; very silky tannins and a long, lingering finale. A mushroom risotto, roasted meats, Cantonese roast duck are all well served by this wine, as are generally flavourful dishes, whether European or Asian.
Finally, Malmont’s ‘Beauxgrains’ (‘beautiful berries’) Séguret Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC Rouge is a selection of the best Syrah and Grenache grapes of the year and production is limited to 500 bottles. The 2015 vintage has aromas of blackberries, dried blueberries, peppery spices and dark chocolate, their intensity kept in check by refreshing acidity and pronounced yet very finely structured tannins, resulting in overall balance and elegance. Try it with roasted or stewed beef, roasted lamb of leg, or hard cheese; baked pasta dishes (vegetarian or non-) are also good choices, as is Cantonese or northern Chinese (duck) cuisine.
The Wines of Domaine Malmont
Séguret Côtes du Rhône AOC Blanc 2017 $47
Côtes du Rhône AOC Rouge 2016 S45
Séguret Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC Rouge 2016 $54
‘Beauxgrains’ Séguret Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC Rouge 2015 $69
The wines of Domaine Malmont are directly imported and exclusively distributed in Singapore by Wine & Philosophy. Prices are net and in Singapore Dollars. Terms & Conditions apply. You can order online, by completing an order form, or by sending an email to email@example.com.