Merit - 2016
NotesFRUIT & LICORELLA
The pure expression of the Priorat terroir in its northern and fresher part. Concentrated, well structured and complex wine, with a smoothness that is atypical from Priorat, given by the long carbonic maceration and the ageing on lees. Rich structure with a luscious bright acidity showcasing notes of fleshy black cherry, strawberry preserve, tobacco and slate.
The grapes come from two different vineyards, Mas Vell (Merlot and Syrah, and Mas d'en Xes (Garnacha and Carinyena).
The first one located between 1,200 and 1,480 feet of altitude (370 to 460 m above sea level) with a south-side orientation producing mature wines and the second one located between 1,180 and 1,540 feet of altitude (360 to 470 m above sea level) with a northeast orientation, adding acidity and structure.
Annual Production: 17,000 bottles (ALBAE Wine Club has access to a limited number of 700 annually)
Type: Tinto (Red)
Grape Variety: Coupage of 35% Merlot, 30% Syrah, 19% Garnacha, and 16% Carinyena
Ageing: 12 months on lees in stainless steel tanks (no oak at all)
Winemaker: Antoni Sánchez-Ortiz
Region: Catalunya, Tarragona
Designation of Origin (DOQ): Priorat
Micro-Climate: Continental with cooling Mediterranean sea breezes, hot summer days & cool nights. 450l average annual rainfall
Elevation: Between 360 and 470 meters above sea level
Age of Vines: 19-22 years old
Soil: 98% old slate (llicorella) & 2% granite
Viticulture / Farming: Organic Farming - Terroir Driven
• Drink now or keep for up to 3 years
• No decanting necessary, just uncork 15/20 minutes before serving
• Pairs with Tapas, Manchego or any cheese (cow, goat or sheep), Ibérico ham, Paté or any Spreads, Poultry, Pasta or Pizza, Legumes or Meat, the well known Spanish or Catalan dishes, all Mediterranean and Asian rice-based dishes spiced but not too hot.
• Ideal at room temperature and also slightly chilled, at about 14 Celsius
The Priorat, one of only two Spanish wine regions with a DOQ quality designation, lies less than 20 miles (32 Km) from the Mediterranean Sea, which serves as a major stabilizing influence on the grapes grown in its warm, arid climate.
The rugged Montsant massif of Catalonia defines the Priorat both visually and viticulturally. In this unique environment the vines must literally burrow through the crumbled rock in search of water. The Priorat’s dry, rocky soil makes for one of the most challenging landscapes anywhere in the world, but it is that distinctive characteristic that creates such an extraordinary terroir.
The grapes are handpicked at an earlier stage, the first fruit to reach peak ripeness created by the hot days of summer. All lots are cold-soaked for 5 days before beginning their fermentation in stainless steel tanks. The Carbonic maceration technique is used for 20 days to reach optimum flavour and soft tannin extraction. The wine is aged for 1 year in stainless steel tanks to build a rounded mouthfeel from the lees.
Toni Sánchez-Ortiz has worked extensively within the context of producing world- class wines; both as a winemaker and as a viticulturist in the renowned appellation of Priorat. Paying tribute to the origins of this region, he has specialized in working with Garnatxa and Carinyena, being awarded best red wine from DO Tarragona during his stint with Cellar La Boella. He has also worked in New Zealand, Australia, California and Germany. Toni is well known for creating remarkable wines with a unique personality, and a detailed focus of expression on particular varietal and site. He lives with the conviction that great wine results from an intimate knowledge of the land. Which stems from his additional experience in vineyard management and his climate warming thesis as a PhD graduate from Universitat Rovira i Vilgili. Here he spearheaded an extensive project titled Climatic Warming and Grape and Wine Composition in the Priorat DOQ. This research and thesis continues to deepen both his knowledge and his skills as a winemaker.
93 Points - Wine & Spirits
92 Points - Guía Peñín