SUMMER 2016, LETTER TO AMERICA: a short newsletter on the vines, wines and times at Rives-Blanques.


The heat is on.  And we are on the slippery slope to the harvest. Too early to say, but so far everything looks great. Brilliant, in fact.  But we never said so … no,  we shouldn’t tempt the gods by even mentioning it. (Though the grapes do look very good indeed, by the way.)


bette_davis_by_finnish_penguin-d3b30lc“Old age ain’t for sissies”,  Bette Davis once famously said. But what glimmers and glows in youth can also shimmer and show in old age.So for a real Bette Davis of a chardonnay, here’s a wonderful review  on our 14-year old Odyssée 2002 this month by  Like people, wines need structure and character to age well. Which is why we also mention with pride our mettle-testing 2002 chenin blanc, Dédicace, which convinced one of the world’s first and foremost female Masters of Wine that white wines from the Languedoc really can age well.  If  they ain’t sissies, that is.



O is for Occitania, our 100% mauzac – another one who seems to have what it takes. We are delighted that for the 15th year in a row, a Rives-Blanques wine again features among the best of the year in La Revue du Vin de France’s special vintage report. (They’re not sissies either: 10,000 bottles across all appellations were tasted for this rigorous selection.)

Bring on the mandolins, bring on the mauzac: we raise a glass of Occitania 2015 and drink to the O for ….

O for Occitanie, an old name for a new region.  More a culture than a country, the original Occitanie (outlined in red) covered the whole southern half of France in the days when troubadours played their mandolins and sang songs of chivalry in the Langue d’Oc (language of Oc). Modern-day Languedoc has just been annexed to the Midi Pyrenees (or vice-versa) to create a new region called Occitanie, with an explanatory subtitle Pyrénées-regionsmapMéditerranée, a capital at Toulouse and …. a bewildering basket of wines with unpronouncable appellation names for us to learn, as of October. Limoux suddenly finds itself in the very geographical heart of all  the action, mid-center at the bottom of the map, in case you are planning to come back to the region!



In the mean time, Jan and Caryl will be far away from it all, spending the first two weeks of August in Ireland, buoyed by bubbles and fueled byBlanquette Sea1 fizz in a little dinghy called BlanquEtte. Jan-Ailbe helms Rives-Blanques, ably assisted by his sister. After that, it’s the harvest and then we will be back again with our news. Until then, if you are on holiday or not, we wish you very happy days too!

The Panman family

July 29, 2016

PS If our wines are not in your state, you can always have a glassful of South of France sunshine delivered to your doorstep by !