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Professional Ratings: 90 The Wine Advocate
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon, France
Varietal: Other Dessert
Alcohol By Volume: 16%
Item no. 111239
Deep garnet color. Aromas of dried fruits, crystallized orange peel and black pepper. On the palate, rich and layers with dried plum, baking spices and dark chocolate flavors. Chapoutier Banyuls is naturally sweet, shows full fruit and wonderful character and is universally perfect with fruit and/or chocolate desserts.
Chapoutier's 2009 Banyuls does an excellent job of projecting in fortified, sweet format the sorts of herbal elements - fennel, juniper, marjoram - that are characteristically associated in dry red wine with the environmental underbrush or garrigue. Plum and blueberry preserves along with mint chocolate form the principle themes for a soothing wine that - while rather superficially sweet - retains a welcome degree of primary juiciness as well as the aforementioned herbal characteristics that help to offset that sweetness in what is an impressively long finish. I suspect this will be most enjoyable over the next 3-4 years, though perhaps greater interest and - after a considerable elapse of time - a diminution in sucrosity will develop. (Chapoutier's 2008 Banyuls was reported to have been entirely sold-out inside France, and there was not a bottle available for me to taste during my visit to Chapoutier's Roussillon - Domaine Bila-Haut - facility.)