The SOMM Journal

December 2014/January 2015

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{ }  61 hols, Rivesaltes and other oxidized Maury and Banyuls can be enjoyed for decades. For example, the producer Maison Cazes has bottles of Rivesaltes still available for sale that date back to the 1930s. Like Port—the Portuguese fortified wine—Roussillon VDNs can either taste fresh, vibrant and fruity or they can have the flavors of toffee, molasses, brown butter and that special, pleasantly pungent aroma and taste called rancio—but always with a unique balance and freshness. For American drinkers who are increasingly being drawn to these wines, Roussillon sweeties can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. They are great sipped straight on a cold winter's evening or served chilled in the summer as an appetizer with nuts, blue cheeses and other hors d'oeuvres. They also pair really well with sweet and sour or sweet and salty dishes and cheese. After dinner, they are often paired with desserts, especially custard-based tarts and crèmes as well as buttery pastries. Increasingly, however, Roussillon Vins Doux Naturels are being mixed into cocktails, such as the apricot juice and Banyuls of Le Catalan, over ice with a slight of lemon. Other fruit juices blend well with Banyuls, Maury and Rivesaltes wines, and they can also be made into refresh - ing coolers paired with tonic, soda, even cola and the addition of pieces of cut, fresh fruit. Like a visit to this lovely, mountainous, seaside region of Roussillon, the aromas and flavors of a Muscat de Rivesaltes, Rivesaltes, Banyuls or Maury can linger long on the palate and in the memory. Seaside vineyards in Banyuls. Banyuls Vin Doux Naturel is aged in large glass bonbonnes, known in English as carboys. PHOTO: J.GIRALT/© CIVR PHOTO: J.GIRALT/© CIVR Spot FRANCE'S MEDITERRANEAN WINE REGION PRODUCES MOSTLY TABLE WINES, BUT IT IS BEST KNOWN FOR THE HAUNTING NECTARS OF ITS VINS DOUX NATURELS

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