The ancient art of Banyuls is disappearing at a frightening pace. One of its great champions and longest-standing practitioners is the wonderful, charismatic Vincent Cantié. He is the spirit of Catalan culture personified, and he makes the best Banyuls money can buy. Made from ripe Grenache picked from steep, stony hillsides above the Mediterranean on the Spanish border, Banyuls is muted with neutral alcohol to stop fermentation and preserve some residual sugar to produce a glorious after-dinner drink. Its best friend is probably a walnut tart or a flourless chocolate cake. Thomas Jefferson loved Banyuls and so can you.
When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:
1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.
Inspiring Thirst, page 174