Domaine de la Casa Blanca Banyuls 2006
Levano makes his sweet red wine in the style of a Vintage Port, emphasizing the fresh fruit flavors in youth and meant for long aging. This type of Banyuls is called Rimage in the local Catalan dialect. Made solely from Grenache Noir, the grapes macerate for 2 weeks after the mutage (addition of grape spirits to stop fermentation). The wine then ages in Bordeaux barrels for 12 months, which is unusual in this appellation and perhaps the secret of the great success of this domain's wine. The result is a deep, intense wine with layers of flavors, ranging from cooked plums and dark berry fruits to chocolate and spice. The finish is long, lingering and clean.
Casa Blanca is the oldest family domain in the AOC, consisting of 10 hectares of carefully tended vines ranging in age from 70 to 100 years. The goal of proprietor/winemaker Herve Levano and vineyard manager Laurent Escapa is to make intense, flavorful wines that combine the best of traditional methods (i.e. wood ageing) with the advantages of modern techniques (i.e. temperature control). Their winery is in a small garage in the middle of the village of Banyuls so all the action is in the vineyards which they work with their mule PomPom. Their superb wines have been praised in GaultMillau, Hachette, Dussert-Gerber and the Revue du Vin de France and have been awarded the prestigious Saint-Bacchus award for best of Roussillon.