L’Orange is a whole-bunch, skin-contact blend from two sources. Most of the fruit comes from a 70- to 90-year-old field blend of old-vine blanc and gris varieties, historically co-planted on the limestone soils of the Roc Suzadou vineyard. While these include Terret Gris, Carignan Blanc, Macabeu and Grenache Gris, there are also rare indigenous varieties that have not yet been identified. Then, there’s some Marsanne and Muscat Blanc from another site, the latter bringing top notes to the wine.
Whatever the exact make-up, it makes for marvellous drinking. Macerated on skins for 10 days, it offers mouthfuls of fuzzy stone fruit, tangy, preserved citrus and amaro spice balanced by crisp acidity, a nip of grape tannin and a salty finish. In a sense, the name is a distraction; this is an intriguing, Mediterranean-style white that works brilliantly with many different foods.