The man behind Vinyer de la Ruca is the splendidly named Manuel di Vecchi Staraz, which wasn't a name I'd come across before. He only makes one red Banyuls vin doux naturel style, as far as I can tell, which, as it says on his website www.vinyerdelaruca.com: "Tot es fa a la mà," meaning "Everything is done by hand," from my limited grasp of Catalan. This even includes the quirky decorative hand-blown 650ml and 400ml size bottles, more like little demijohns actually, the Banyuls comes in. Rather steep though at €75 and €110 a piece (even if he does only make 1000 bottles and the wine is good), just like the sheer schist terraces the 50 year-old Grenache it's made from tries to grow on. These vines are farmed totally biodynamically using homoeopathic preparations, no machines, no added sulphites to the wine, aged in small tuns and all that jazz. Sounds / looks like a bit of a philosopher too, hence the suitably pensive shot I copied off his site:
2011 Banyuls - baked plum and liquorice notes, fiery punchy palate layered with sweet vs savoury fruit, complex flavours on top of attractive grip and texture actually, rich dark and smoky with tangy twist too. Nice style.