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M. Chapoutier Banyuls (500ML) 2009

Other Dessert from Languedoc-Roussillon, France
  • RP90
    16% ABV
    • RP92
    • W&S91
    • RP93
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      16% ABV

      Winemaker Notes

      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.

      Critical Acclaim

      All Vintages
      RP 90
      Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
      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.)
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      M. Chapoutier

      M. Chapoutier

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      M. Chapoutier, Languedoc-Roussillon, France
      Image of winery
      No name is more closely associated with the greatness of the Rhone valley than M. Chapoutier.

      The history of the Chapoutier family stretches back to the early nineteenth century when current owner Michel Chapoutier’s great-, great-, great-grandfather Marius purchased an estate and some vineyards in the now famous village of Tain l’Hermitage in the Northern Rhône Valley. Marius Chapoutier made history in the region when he became the first grape grower there to vinify his own fruit. Marius had tasted wines other winemakers produced using his fruit and he realized that something was lost in translation, so to speak. He knew that he owned some of the best growing sites in the appellation and he believed — rightly — that the grapes grown in his vineyards could produce long-lived world-class wines. In a move unusual at the time, he decided that he should make the wine himself. Not only did the quality of the wines increase greatly, but this move provided the capital to expand the Chapoutiers’ already legendary estate.

      A visionary and pioneer in biodynamic winemaking, his restless energy and unconditional commitment to quality have produced tremendous success, with the most 90+ point ratings of all Rhône producers and 16 "100 point" rated wines.

      Languedoc-Roussillon

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      An extensive appellation producing a diverse selection of good-quality and value-priced wines, Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the world’s largest wine-producing region, spanning the Mediterranean coast from the Spanish border to Rhône. Languedoc forms the eastern half of the larger appellation, while Roussillon is in the west; the two actually have quite distinct personalities but are typically grouped together. Languedoc’s terrain is generally flat coastal plains, with a warm Mediterranean climate and a frequent risk of drought. Roussillon, on the other hand, is defined by the rugged Pyrenees mountains and near-constant sunshine.

      Virtually every style of wine is made in this expansive region. Dry wines are often blends, and varietal choice is strongly influenced by the neighboring Rhône Valley. For reds and rosés, the primary grapes include Grenache, Syrah, Carignan, Cinsault, and Mourvèdre. White varieties include Grenache Blanc, Muscat, Ugni Blanc, Vermentino, Maccabéo, Clairette, Piquepoul and Bourbelenc.

      International varieties are also planted in large numbers here, in particular Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In Roussillon, excellent sweet wines are made from Muscat and Grenache in Rivesaltes, Banyuls and Maury. The key region for sparkling wines here is Limoux, where Blanquette de Limoux is believed to have been the first sparkling wine made in France, even before Champagne. Crémant de Limoux is produced in a more modern style.

      Other Dessert

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      Apart from the classics, we find many regional gems of different styles.

      Late harvest wines are probably the easiest to understand. Grapes are picked so late that the sugars build up and residual sugar remains after the fermentation process. Ice wine, a style founded in Germany and there referred to as eiswein, is an extreme late harvest wine, produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen, resulting in a higher concentration of sugar. It is becoming a specialty of Canada as well, where it takes on the English name of ice wine.

      Vin Santo, literally “holy wine,” is a Tuscan sweet wine made from drying the local white grapes Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia in the winery and not pressing until somewhere between November and March.

      Rutherglen is an historic wine region in northeast Victoria, Australia, famous for its fortified Topaque and Muscat with complex tawny characteristics.

      RPT44419506_2009 Item# 111239