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Today's Wine Tasting Note

© Copyright 1998 by Robin Garr. All rights reserved.

Robert Doutres 1994 Les Clos de Paulilles Rimage Banyuls ($?)
This unusual, sweet and strong fortified red wine from the Pyrenees region of Southwestern France, made from the Grenache grape, is credibly presented as one of the few wines that goes naturally with chocolate. Having this 375 ml. bottle on hand as a gift from my wine-loving friend Mike Conner, we served it the other night when the happy coincidence of visiting friends and some scandalously rich brownies created the perfect occasion.

Sure enough, the conventional wisdom is right. Taken by itself, this Banyuls is an interesting but not overly exciting sweet wine, somewhat resembling a modest tawny Port. It's a very dark ruby color, almost black, with good aromas of cherry-berry, raisins and "stone" fruit; sweet, strong and tart on the palate, with raspberry jam increasingly evident in a long finish. Use it to follow a bite of dark, rich chocolate, though, and the raspberries come out in a virtual flavor explosion that's little short of amazing. Definitely memorable, a flavor experience worth repeating. U.S. importer: Classic Wine Imports Inc., Boston. (Oct. 10, 1998)

FOOD MATCH: Dark chocolate. Yes!

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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