Catalunya is home to one of the oldest forms of winemaking, a tradition for aged dry wines that pre-dates modern viticulture. Known throughout Roussillon as Rancio Sec (or alternately Vi Ranci), these are dry, unfortiﬁed wines that are often kept in the sun in glass demijohns, then transferred to partially ﬁlled old oak barrels for no less than 5 years. It is this oxidation process, further evolving over decades in soleras, that gives rise to the bouquet of unique tastes (fresh walnut, curry spices, cocoa, light bitterness) that characterizes Rancio Sec. Made in very small quantities, typically for the winemaker’s family and guests, its historic if endangered status is recognized by Slow Food France.
Rancio of 100% Grenache Noir from a cooperative in Banyuls. Minimum 7 years in old rancio Banyuls casks after oxidation in glass under the hot Catalan sun. High-toned, with plenty of curry spice and almond skin, this wine works perfectly in place of fino or amontillado sherry in cocktails, or with anchovies, olives, escargots, or ham. Shelf-stable after opening.