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Banyuls Rancio, Al Tragou, Vial Magnères - 1995

  • Provenance: Languedoc-Roussillon
  • Appellation: Banyuls
  • Domain: Vial Magnères
  • Grape variety(ies): Assemblage de grenache noir, gris et blanc, avec une faible proportion de carignan
  • On-call time: 50 years
  • Alcohol degree: 18%
Great nose of green walnut, Havana and many other archetypal notes of a rich rancio palette. Superb, fat mouthfeel, made possible by the very long maturation and the presence of alcohol concentrated by this same maturation. It is ultra tasty, very persistent, southern. A part of the memory of Banyuls is lodged in this bottle... A cult wine!
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The 10 ha vineyard is mainly located between Banyuls and Cerbère. The soils are composed of decomposing chlorite and sericite schists. The dominant grape variety is Grenache in its three colours, often planted in the same plots. The vines are all trained in gobelet. Working the soil has always been important and considered as such.


The grapes are harvested by hand, as is all the work in the vineyard. Yields hardly exceed 20-25 hl/ha for the Banyuls. The grapes are picked slightly over-ripe and completely destemmed before vinification. The mutage can be done on the grapes or on the must depending on the year. The wine is aged for more than 20 years in oak demi-muids, giving it its "aromatic memory".

Suggestions for accompaniment

A great armchair wine, cigar and chocolate grand cru, the myth of Banyuls rancio.

The Vial Magnères cellar was built in the 1960s by Gaby Vial, the father-in-law of the late Bernard Sapéras. Mr Vial himself had taken over from his father-in-law, André Magnères, hence the name of the estate. When he arrived in 1985, Bernard Sapéras was only there to assist his father-in-law in the production of Banyuls. But he quickly developed a passion for winemaking, humbly imprinting his style and signature. Today, and since his tragic death during the 2013 harvest, the estate is in the hands of Olivier Sapéras (his son) and Laurent dal Zovo, a talented oenologist who also manages the viticulture team and, of course, the cellar.The 10-hectare vineyard is mainly located between Banyuls and Cerbère, on the coastal fringe overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. It includes several sectors, with different exposures and morphologies. The soils are made up of Cambrian metamorphic rocks, essentially composed of decomposing schist. The dominant grape variety is, as it should be, Grenache in its three colours: black (65%), grey (15%) and white (11%), often planted in the same parcels. This high proportion of white and grey Grenache dates back to the time when the estate mainly produced tiled Banyuls. Since then, the renewals (1200 to 1500 vines per year, on average) have been made by massal selection and from black Grenache. The remaining 9% is devoted to Syrah, Carignan and a small...

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