M. Chapoutier Banyuls Rouge 2007

Banyuls AC, Languedoc Roussillon, France
$26-30 for 500ml  *Available at select private stores +823625

www.chapoutier.com

Think you know the Grenache grape? Think again mon ami. This dessert wine is 100% Black Grenache, made into a Vin Doux Naturel (Naturally Sweet Wine). The additional sweetness and extra intensity are a result of picking overripe, sugar-intensified grapes that have hung later in the harvest then regular grapes. The wine is then fortified with a spirit, stopping fermentation and leaving all the sugary goodness. Le finis? Big and unctuous, with cocoa, dried fruit, dark raspberry, spice, mandarin peel and earth notes. Bright acid balances beautifully. Though sweet, it can do double duty if you’d like to serve it as aperitif with blue cheese and roasted nuts. Classically though, it is said that Banyuls is the only dessert wine that truly pairs with chocolate. Aha! Put it to the test with dark chocolate torte. Twist your arm, oui?

Vins Doux Naturels must contain a minimum of 50 percent Grenache to be called Banyuls AC, taking its name from the nearby fishing port. Since additional alcohol is added (bringing it up to 17-18%), it can last longer once opened, and is also capable of extended aging prior to popping the cork.

The great Chapoutier is synonymous with the Rhône Valley, in the wine business there since 1879. Now in their 7th generation, the winery produces exceptional wines stretching the length of the Rhone, plus Southern France, Portugal and Australia. Since 1996, Braille has been present on all M. Chapoutier labels as a tribute to the inventor of Braille, Maurice Monier, an Hermitage vineyard owner.

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Written By:

Treve Ring is a wine writer, editor, judge, consultant and certified sommelier, and has been with EAT Magazine for over a decade. In addition to her work with EAT, she is a Wine Critic and National Judge for WineAlign, ...

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