Manutea Rhum Blanc Agricole

Manutea Rhum Blanc Agricole 40-RG1

Product of:  Mo’orea, French Polynesia
Aged:  rested ~3 months 
Price: XPF3400 ($US34) on Tahiti 
Alcohol: 40% ABV  
Sugar: 0-5 g/L (estimate)
Context: Rhum Blanc Agricole 
RG Rating: 9

Tasting Notes
Manutea Rhum Blanc Agricole and T Rhum 40% are essentially identical twins, as, as Laurent Masseron, their sugarcane grower told Rum Gallery during our visit to his cane crushing and fermenting facility (see anecdotes).  I tasted both rhums side by side, relishing in their identical character.  Therefore the tasting notes for both rums are identical.

Manutea Rhum Blanc Agricole 40% –  A bouquet of fresh cut and crushed sugarcane, grassy, sweet alcohol says “Ia’Orana” (hello) as you unscrew the bottle cap.

Poured into a proper tasting glass, the rhum appears “gin clear” as the waters of Tahiti are often described.  The rhum simply shimmers as if illuminated with a silver incandescence.  Swirl, and watch as a bounty of beads forms into a crown atop the residual rhum smeared inside my tasting glass.  Most run quickly down to rejoin the pool of spirit below., while several laggards are left behind clinging to the side of the glass, enabling the potent agricole rhum aromas to fully develop.

Sweet fermented sugarcane juice and buttery croissant entice the nose.  Lesser notes of tropical fruit (mango, papaya, banana and succulent Tahitian pineapple), and subtle floral Tahitian vanilla have your senses dancing.   

All of those delightful fresh cane aromas are manifest in their associated flavors, delivered on a creamy, medium-weight body, with some added minerality on the tongue reflecting a singularly integrated ethereal spirit that finishes off-dry with lingering sugarcane flavor on the tongue and no burn in the throat.

Anecdotes
Manutea rhum blanc agricole is produced from fermented red sugarcane grown on the island of Taha’a by the same person who makes T Rhum at Domaine Pari Pari in that island’s Tapuamu Bay.  As with T Rhum, this Manutea agricole is  distilled on Moorea in an Alembic still. Two expressions are available, one of 40%ABV priced at XPF3400, and the other of 50%ABV priced at XPF4000 on Tahiti.

Opinion  
As with all things in French Polynesia  the islands contribute heavenly natural resources, weather, terroir and cane varietals, but the French contribute their knowledge of crafting them into refined pleasures of food and drink.  It is a winning combination, and one of my favorite places on Earth.

Reviewed: August and September 2016 while sailing throughout the Society Islands of French Polynesia (often referred to as Tahiti, the most populated island).

© Dave Russell 2017