Log In Sign Up

L'Archiviste, RivesaltesRivesaltes, France 1979 (750mL)

Sold Out  |  $60.00

Free shipping on any 6 bottles!

The Daily Offer

L'Archiviste, Rivesaltes Rivesaltes, France 1979 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol

We never waste an opportunity to hoist a wine of extraordinary value and ancient intrigue onto our shoulders, which is why we’ve purchased every parcel of L'Archiviste’s 1979 Rivesaltes over the past three years. This is the final one, and at just $60, it’s more enticing than ever before. If you’ve yet to lay your hands on a bottle of this affordable liquid gold, read on to discover the fascinating origin story.


When Phillipe and Sandrine Gayral were touring the South of France some 20 years ago, they stumbled upon a cache of fortified wines that had been aging in barrels for generations. That discovery led to a startling revelation: Dozens of families from all over Rivesaltes had been quietly preserving and locally sharing these vinous family heirlooms for decades. So, after receiving permission from a number of families, the Gayrals began bottling small amounts for the first time ever and distributing them around the world market. This specific bottling of L’Archiviste 1979 Rivesaltes was bottled by Phillipe and Sandrine themselves in 2018 to commemorate their importer’s 40-year anniversary. Prior to that, this fortified liquid spent nearly four decades in massive old barrels. The rich, savory vortex of tertiary aromatics, decadent textures, and understated grace in every ounce makes for one of the most unique drinking experiences out there. Maybe it’s a birth-year wine for you, or you’re simply curious, or perhaps you just enjoy the meditative experience of old fortified gems—whatever it may be, this ’79 relic is one of the most profound values imaginable! 




Southern France’s Vin Doux Naturel (VDN) was first made in the 13th century when ‘mutage’ was discovered. Put simply, this is a process where a neutral spirit is added to prematurely kill yeast and suspend fermentation, leaving a concentrated and sweet wine with elevated alcohol—essentially the same practice used to make Port wines. The Languedoc-Roussillon region has been the traditional home of these wines, in appellations such as Maury, Banyuls, and today’s AOC of origin, Rivesaltes. Today’s wine was originally produced with a colorful array of Grenache grapes (Noir, Blanc, Rosé) in 1975 and aged three years in concrete vessels. Following, it sat in old foudres for 37 years until Phillipe Gayral bottled the wine, directly from the barrel and without any treatments, in December of 2018 under the “L’Archiviste” label. 


Phillipe and Sandrine Gayral now own the largest collection of VDN wines from the 1900s, having spent the last two decades scouring the countryside of Rivesaltes, Banyuls, and Maury in search of these “forgotten barrels.” They would meet with the families, who would then point them to their one or two remaining foudres containing VDN from decades past. Assuming nobody cared about the wine, some estates were ecstatic when Phillipe and Sandrine offered to buy the barrels and bottle them for resale; others, however, took years to convince. And then, there were some estates that would tell them the barrel in question was from another local producer, bought by a friend of a friend long ago—so they would have to follow whatever breadcrumb trail remained!


Today’s 1979 Rivesaltes reveals an imposing tawny with shimmering amber-gold hues. It swirls sluggishly, with heavy-staining tears that indicate just how brawny and bold this fortified wine is. Expect powerful, high-toned aromas of marmalade, fruit preserves, baking spice, dried flowers, and honey to erupt from the glass without pause. As the wine finds itself in the glass, more delicate aromas trickle out, like red plum skin, currant, fruitcake, dried herbs, crushed almonds, caramel, black tea, and burnt orange peel. The startling palate is worth noting a million times over: there is extraordinary youthfulness here, along with rich yet balanced sweetness, too. Still, the wine’s lift and energy carries it into a refreshing and savory minutes-long finale. This 1979 has, and will continue to, withstand the test of time, so drink it whenever a special moment arises—it’ll be ready. Not only is it shockingly affordable for a wine with so much history and mystique, but it’s also the kind of ‘meditation wine’ that could very easily transcend the dessert course. With all of its time in bottle, its sweetness has moderated and its aromatic complexity has grown exponentially; yes, it would make a perfect after-dinner sipper with some cheeses and almonds, but I could also see it stunning dinner guests alongside a savory entrée.





L'Archiviste, Rivesaltes Rivesaltes, France 1979 - SommSelect

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionLanguedoc-Roussillon
  • Sub-RegionRivesaltes
  • SoilGranitic Sand & Red Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendGrenache 50%, Grenache Blanc 30%, Grenache Rosé 15%, Macabeu 5%
  • Alcohol15.5%
  • OakLarge Neutral Foudres

  • CountryFrance
  • RegionLanguedoc-Roussillon
  • Sub-RegionRivesaltes
  • SoilGranitic Sand & Red Clay
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendGrenache 50%, Grenache Blanc 30%, Grenache Rosé 15%, Macabeu 5%
  • Alcohol15.5%
  • OakLarge Neutral Foudres
  • Temp.Serve at 55-60° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2040+
  • PairingSeared Foie Gras w/ Mission Fig & Balsamic Reduction