I did not know what Banyuls was before finding this wine, so I am still learning about it. Apparently, it must be made from at least half Grenache, and the fermentation is stopped early by adding grape spirits, increasing the alcohol and retaining the sugar from the grapes. It struck me as sort of in between Port wine and a Cotes du Rhone.
The wine shows Grenache flavors of red / black cherries and black raspberries, red grape, maybe redder plum, lighter raisin, and wood. While the fruit is sort of like a Cotes du Rhone, it’s obviously sweet and shows a slight oxidation. On the other hand, it’s not as heavy and sweet as a young Port. It went well with dark chocolate, but not so well with dates, which seemed a little too sweet. I expect roasted nuts would be a good complement, maybe a creamy blue cheese. The Bertrand web site says, “To be enjoyed at 16°C (61°F), with fruit desserts or Catalan pastries but also as an aperitif.” Overall, it’s quite pleasant and an interesting experience, but I won’t be getting more. Part of that is that I’m not that into dessert wine, and part of that is that it’s not especially complex, although it is better than Donna’s Dessert wine ($6). I’m curious about what others here think of it.