Vin Doux Naturel – Wine Styles

Basically Vin Doux Naturel can be differentiated by its vinification. There are fruity-reductive and matured-oxidatively wine styles. These can be further divided:

1. Fruity, white Vin Doux Naturel, including muscats such as Muscat du Cap Corse and VDN Blanc like Banyuls Blanc, Maury Doux Blanc and Rasteau Blanc.

2. Fruity, rosé-colored Vin Doux Naturel such as Rasteau rosé or Rivesaltes rosé,

3. Fruity, dark red Vin Doux Naturel such as Banyuls rimage, Maury doux grenat or Rivesaltes grenat,

4. Matured, complex, amber coloured Vin Doux Naturel such as Banyuls ambré, Maury Doux ambré or Rivesaltes ambré and

5. Matured, complex, bright red orange Vin Doux Naturel such as Banyuls tradition, Banyuls Grand Cru or Rasteau tuilé.

The first three fruity wine styles are reductively vinified, thus largely avoiding contact with atmospheric oxygen and can oxidize due to the reductive vinification and should therefore be drunk soon after opening. In contrast, the latter two mature, complex amber or light red wine styles have already undergone oxidation and remain stable for months after opening.

The naming of the wine styles for the fruity, dark red as well as the matured, complex, bright red orange variant is not the same in all appellations. Thus the indications of rimage, rimage mise tardive, grenat and the sometimes still to be found name vintage all describe a fruit-sweet red wine. If someone wants to drink exclusively sweet, red Vin Doux Naturel from Banyuls, may not order a Banyuls Traditionnel or Banyuls Grand Cru, but only a Banyuls Rimage.

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