Vin Cuit de Provence: What is it and how is it made?

Vin Cuit de Provence is a traditional Provencal holiday dessert wine drunk after Christmas Eve dinner and served alongside the thirteen desserts (the number thirteen represents Christ and the 12 Apostles at the Last Supper). Today, very few winemakers make Vin Cuit and if they do its typically made for personal consumption or sold locally at the cellar door.

VC

Vin Cuit, which literally means cooked wine, is heated in a cauldron over an oak fire. The key to making this wine is that 1) it’s constantly stirred and 2) never boils (which would kill the yeasts). Once the must is reduced, its fermented naturally in stainless steel tanks, very slowly for approximately one year. After fermentation is complete it’s aged in barrel for at least two years.  If tradition is followed, a Vin Cuit de Provence, like the one Mas de Cadenet makes, will not have anything added no sugar or spices, although the smoke from the fire does add it’s own touch, especially on the finish. It’s also never fortified with alcohol (the final abv is around 14%).

Vin Quit

The grape varieties are a blend of the estate’s plantings, which include Rolle, Grenache, Cinsault, and Syrah. Mas de Cadenet opts to make their Vin Cuit de Provence in a Champagne style, meaning that they blend several vintages to their taste. The current bottling is 40% 2011 vintage, 15% 2010 vintage , 30% 2009 vintage and 15% 2006 vintage. This copper-colored wine has a rich density on the palate. Flavors are intense and complex with orange, dry apricot, prune, almond and roasted coffee.  It has a viscous texture and the sweetness is balanced with power and freshness. It’s a good match with chocolate or nutty desserts, nougat or dried fruits. This could also pair nicely with blue cheese or Foie gras.…