There were a bunch of reasons for picking this up whilst visiting Mas Amiel in Summer 2004, not least because it was a Vin de Liqueur as the back-label notes, from a producer renowned for Vins Doux Naturels. But more importantly, I felt on tasting that it would probably make a good chocolate wine, due to its sweetness, even if it had a lot of berry fruit character. How fortunate I was, because after a year+ ageing, it also improved as a wine, as well as proving definitively to be a good chocolate wine (perhaps ideal for Black Forest Gateau?). Ruby-garnet, deep core with ruby rim. Fairly intense but focused bramble jam nose with a hint of vanilla and mint – ‘blackberry crumble and custard’! Smooth, intense crème de cassis-style palate. Low tannin, sweet, but not overkill because of balancing acidity. Surprisingly easy drinking, and the 15.5% avoids any overbearing “portiness”. Very nice.