Chapoutier Banyuls Bila-Haut Rimage is a Vin Doux Natural Rouge, a sweet red dessert wine, made from grapes sourced from the narrow and steep terraces of the Banyuls Appellation whose vineyards overhang the Mediterranean sea. It is part of the Languedoc-Rousssilon wine-growing region.
It is here that Chapoutier’s Domaine de Bila-Haut Estate can be found. Michel Chapoutier bought vineyards in the village of Latour de France in 2000. The area is known for its stony schist soil terraces and rich geological background. There is an abundance of extremely low-yielding, old vines which deliver superb minerality and complexity from Carignan, Grenache and Syrah vines.The grapes produced are perfect for the red wines and Banyuls produced there.
Chapoutier Banyuls is 100% Grenache Noir. The grapes are hand-harvest when they are very ripe. After harvest the grapes are destemmed and crushed and then fermented. There is a long period of maceration and, after a certain period of time, the wine is fortified with grape spirit which halts the fermentation process thus preserving a good amount of natural sweetness. This is similar to the technique used in Port wine production. It is known in France as “mutage”.
Chapoutier Banyuls Bila-Haut is bottled as a “Rimage”. Rimage is a term given to a more modern, younger style of Banyuls. Instead more traditional “Vintage” styles which are aged for many years (and sometimes in glass bottles exposed to the sun), they are bottled much younger. This means that, instead of the tawny colour and rancio characters developed from years of barrel-ageing, Rimage is redder in colour and packed with more ripe, red berry fruits and firmer tannins. The wine is aged for 8 months in vat prior to bottling. It is then aged for another 3 months in bottle prior to release. 16.5% ABV.
Chapoutier Banyuls, like all Chapoutier wines, features a braille label.