Tag Archives: Priorat

Bibendum Degustacion de Vinos – 3/06/2013

Bibendum as I have said many times, are one of the best importers of wine in Australia. For the first time they hosted a tasting of their entire range of Spanish producers, and some were gracious enough to fly all the way to Australia for the event. Here is a very long list of wines I tasted.

Colet-Navazos Cava Extra Brut 2009
Nice gun flint volcanic notes. Clean pure fresh light, classic but fairly simple and safe.

Navazos I Think Manzanilla
Slightly rich and creamy, toasty and crunchy texture.

Argueso Manzanilla
Pure fresh light, clean and brisk, friendly and appealing.

Argueso Las Medallas Manzanilla
A bit deeper and richer, bolder but still nice and salty, sweeter fruit character.

San Leon Manzanilla
Zingy zesty, so fresh, not what you think of manzanilla.

Angel Rodriguez Martinsancho Verdejo 2011
Fig skin and herb notes. Exquisitely balanced, light but not thin.

Val de Sil Montenovo Blanco 2012
Mid-palate texture saltiness. Bright fruit-driven but savoury.

Val de Sil Godello 2011
Quiet. Bright and fresh, fruit-forward, nice and textural.

Val de Sil Pezas da Portella Godello 2010
Salty volcanic oily nose. Much more elegant and restrained.

Horacio Calvente Pago La Guindalera Blanco 2010
Classic but restrained and dry, fresh musky floral elements.

Mengoba Brezo Blanco 2011
Tight and sharp, very precise, really good but not offering a lot.

Mengoba Blanco Godello Y Dona Blanco Sobre Lias 2010
Nicely developed, slightly wilder and more mineral.

Mengoba Brezo Tinto 2011
Bright juicy floral notes, fresh and juicy but tight and straight.

Mengoba Flor de Brezo 2010
Tighter spicier and leaner, much more savoury.

Mengoba Mencia de Espanillo 2009
Intense tight concentrated, juicy and fairly soft but intense.

Mengoba Mencia de Espanillo 2010
Amazing precision and integration, LENGTH.

Mengoba Estaladina 2010
A little dirtier and wilder, dark and intense.

Domino do Bibei Lapola Blanco 2010
Tight juicy round full friendly.

Domino do Bibei Lapena Blanco 2010
Wilder funkier basalt, intense super godello up to 11.

Domino do Bibei Lalama 2009
Soft juicy full, tight.

Domino do Bibei Lacima 2008
Wild but a little short, lacking something.

Adega Algueira Brandon Blanco 2012
Herbal green fig, very fresh and food friendly.

Adega Algueira Cortezada 2011
Denser and more lifted aromatically, brisk concentrated quince like, high acids.

Adega Algueira Merenzao 2010
Spicy wild earthy, generous yet tight.

Adega AlgueiraCarravel Barrica Mencia 2009
Denser tight, softer and fuller.

Adega Algueira Pizarra 2010
Not seeing it, might need more time.

Quinta Da Muradella Caino Redondo 2009
Too funky and wild, tougher more traditional and rustic.

Quinta Da Muradella Souson 2009
Closed and developed, tight focused acid great.

Exopto Horizonte Blanco 2011
Juicy fruit (musk) sweet, quite different, more Loire style.

Exopto Bozeto de Exopto 2011
Soft bright juicy clean, pleasant character, exceptional value.

Exopto Horizonte de Exopto 2010
Tighter more integrated, much more traditional.

Exopto de Exopto 2009
Deep and soft, juicy reflection of the variety.

Felix Callejo Rosado Vina Pilar 2012
Juicy fresh red fruit sweet.

Felix Callejo Flores de Callejo 2010
Bold juicy dark and intense, fairly straight-forward.

Felix Callejo Crianza 2009
Denser earthier and fuller, quite vintage specific.

Felix Callejo Majuelos de Callejo 2009
Tighter grainier and earthier, very generous.

Felix Callejo Gran Callejo 2006
Intense tight precise and still closed.

Felix Callejo Finca Valdelroble 2008
Stinky reduction, bright wild salty.

Felix Callejo Finca Valdelroble 2009
Juicy hot still very fresh.

Condado de Haza 2009
Very intense dark almost molasses, very soft easy and generous.

El Vinculo Crianza 2006
Extremely traditional, burnt aromatics.

Pesquera Tinto Crianza 2009
Wild earthy savoury, soft concentrated, REAL.

Pesquera Tinto Crianza 2010
Rounder larger fuller, not too different in fact.

Pesquera Reserva 2008
Wild earthy savoury, unbelievably tight.

Dehesa La Granja Tempranillo 2005
Soft bright and generous.

Bodegas Carchello 2011
Quite spicy and approachable.

Terroir Al Limit Torroja Vi de Vila 2011
Light fresh pure lean and clean.

Terroir Al Limit L’Arbossar 2010
Tighter, denser more generous.

Terroir Al Limit Dits del Terra 2010
So elegant but hauntingly complex.

Terroir Al Limit Les Manyes 2010
Beautifully floral yet spicy, intense and tight, extremely long.

Terroir Al Limit Les Tosses 2010
Darker more brooding and more fruit sweetness.

Clos Manyettes Priorat 2007
Punchy and unctuous.

Clos Mogador 2007
Toasty smoky earthy wild terroir wine.

Equipo Navazos No. 31 La Bota de Amontillado
Toasty caramel nose, rich but still dry, wild and feral.

Equipo Navazos No. 37 La Bota de Amontillado
Creamier honeyed spice caramel, salty richer rollier.

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Like a rolling stone (Priorat, Spain – Day Two)

Spending eight weeks travelling through Italy visiting wineries can be pretty challenging. As if it isn’t difficult enough that outside of the cities and towns there are no street names – and in many cases addresses are simply designated as an area which includes a great many roads – there is little to no directional signage. Add to this the poor quality of the maps on my navigation software, and you get a situation where I was rarely early to an appointment, and in one case couldn’t find the winery at all. After the first few days in Spain I am concerned that this will be the case again. Some countries do wine tourism a little better (Australia, USA, France), some less so (Argentina, Germany), and some have almost none at all (Chile, Italy). The good countries have directional signage towards a region, and then within the region they have directional signage to every winery that welcomes visitors. Some regions are more advanced than others, and include such information as distances, but at a minimum they have signs at every major turn. It goes without saying that at the wineries they have signs indicating that ‘yes, the winery is here and we are open for business’. This is less common in Europe, perhaps as they are considered a little flashy, but they are in fact a necessity. The issues of addresses seem similar in Spain to that of Italy and thus knowing and providing GPS coordinates is almost the only recourse to avoid potential visitors getting lost. To any winery I am visiting for the rest of my trip who may be reading this, I urge you to send me the GPS details so that I am not late and we can make the most of our time together.

High above Priorat

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Welcome to Spain (technically) (Priorat, Spain – Day One)

After a brief hiatus I am now back in wine country, and an entirely new country has welcomed me with open arms. The question is, what country is that; Spain or Catalunya? The Catalan people are convinced that they should be separate from the rest of Spain, as they speak a different language and have their own unique culture. As it is the first part of Spain I am visiting or have ever visited, it is difficult for me to say whether or not there is a big difference, but much like Italy I am excited to find the differences between each part of the country. I am spending the next six weeks in Spain and Portugal, mostly working in a clockwise direction, and thankfully I seem to have a very reliable, fuel-efficient car that is not too small and drives very nicely (a Citroen C4). I arrived in Barcelona last week and spent the weekend there. It is a lovely city, and is one of those modern cosmopolitan cities that everyone should visit, but I did get the distinct impression that it is more a reflection of Europe rather than Catalunya or Spain. There is certainly a fantastic night life, and the beaches are great, but prices seem to be a little higher and it is harder to find good authentic regional food there, as a lot of the (particularly young) inhabitants want more international food. Anyway, on Monday morning I headed south-west to Priorat to discover one of the most talked about wine regions in Spain.

Easter all over again

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Clos Erasmus – 5/06/2012

Laurel 2010 (75% grenache, 20% syrah, 5% cabernet sauvignon)
Tight bright juicy currants, very intense fruit, youthful, some sweetness and juiciness as well. Fresh, vibrant expressive, quite complex, some very late earthy notes. Wonderful core of acidity keeping things so fresh, intense and yet structured and balanced. You can’t see any oak or alcohol at all, wonderfully integrated.

Clos Erasmus 2010 (85% grenache, 15% syrah)
Has a certain seriousness to it, very quiet and unassuming, not brash or flashy at all. Shy and not expressive, needs to be decanted and allowed to breath for a few hours. Penetrating insights, darkness, depth and intensity. Piercingly complex. Mellow silky yet very full and dense. So well integrated and delicate, perfect expression of delicate touch, sensitive understanding of the terroir and the expressiveness of the wine. Lovely ruby colour, bright inviting and seductive.

Clos Erasmus cellars

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Buil & Guine – 5/06/2012

Baboix 2008 Montsant (grenache carignan led, some syrah, cabernet, merlot and tempranillo)
Fresh bright red fruits, some raspberry liquorice, slightly fragrant rose petal. Tight lean and fresh, very focused and a little straight. Fresh acids and fruit, brightness and intensity. Clean and relatively balanced. Fairly simple originless fruit-driven fresh approachable style wine of good quality.

Joan Gine 2007 Priorat (grenache, carignan, cabernet sauvignon)
More brooding and intense, earthier, stalkier, still red fruits but very ripe. Pure clean, not at all textured or characterful, fresh vibrant, good fruit, clean and approachable, but far from earth-shattering. Somehow an empty wine, still very drinkable for most of the market.

Pleret 2005 Priorat (old vines, grenache, carignan, merlot cabernet sauvignon, syrah)
More closed, slightly shut down aromatically, very dense earthy mineralic. Bold yet soft, juicy balanced, starting to show some maturity and bottle aged notes of some leather and chocolate. Nice perfume, full and bold, yet soft on the finish. Very good, but am I expecting too much now? Showing some roasted capsicum notes.

Pleret Blanc Dolc (sweet) 2010
Good clarity finesse and minerality. Very vibrant and fruity with a very interesting floral core, some texture and weight, full and bold sweet wine. Nice stone fruit and ripe citrus notes. Clean and fresh, not too cloying or sticky, very adaptable to many types of dessert.

The Buil & Guine winery in the background

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Mas Martinet – 5/06/2012

Martinet Bru 2008 (grenache, syrah 80%, cabernet, carignan)
Distinctive nose, quite floral mineral earthy flinty. Bright intense fresh wonderfully balanced, vibrant red fruits, good acidity and generosity. Approachable juicy slight savoury elements. Great character but still easy to drink.

Martinet Bru 2009
Darker more intense colour. Deeper earthier darker fruits, less bright vibrant florals. Mouth filling, denser heavier tannins, rounder and bolder, more forward but good extension on the palate. Juicier yet more savoury brooding fruit, again excellent balance.

Els Escurcons (Blackadder) 2008 (100% grenache)
Talcy chalky floral vegetative cola spritz. Dense wonderful elegant soft texture, really voluptuous and forgiving yet savoury stalky slight menthol notes. Bold full fruity and intense, yet balanced integrated and approachable with exquisite character.

Cami Pesseroles 2008 (70% grenache because of the vintage)
Again an interesting cola aroma, with some ginger. Natural spritz and freshness on the nose, great red fruit notes. Wonderfully intense deep and structured, bold tannin and some very late sweetness. Density of fruit and sweetess, velvety oily texture, you would almost think there were some white blended.

Clos Martinet 2008 (grenache & carignan 65%, remainder syrah, cabernet sauvignon & merlot)
Much more closed aromatically, but still very bold on the palate. Extremely intense complex mature earthy assured and contemplative. Gentle yet amazingly structured, dense yet soft and round, persistent, what amazing ageing potential. Absolute wine of the tasting.

Els Escursons 2009
Not expressive, needs a few months to open up. Juicy black fruits, thick hardy skins, sweet berries, denseness and power, expressive and forward on the palate. Big yet not heavy or extractive, balanced but pretty fruity at the moment.

Cains Pesseroles 2009 (60% carignan)
Density of earth and dark floral aromatics, very closed and intense dark fruits, salty liquorice. Better integration, older vines add maturity and elegance to the wine, powerful yet fine structure, tannins very forward on the palate, great potential for ageing.

Clos Martinet 2009
Interesting darkness, almost like a black hole. Amazing life and brightness to it, very intense sweet black fruits. A little volatile now, but after a few months will be perfect. Perfect terroir wine, nothing intervenes. I like that they are so exuberant in fruit whilst young, but you want to wait for them to develop in the bottle. Perfectly balanced and structured, a very delicate hand in the making of this wine.

Barrels in the cellar of Mas Martinet

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Mas Alta – 5/06/2012

Els Pics 2010 (grenache, carignan, others, young vine)
Youthful exuberant black fruits, cherries, cassis, blackcurrant. Juicy bold and fruit forward, some sweetness of fruit and oak. Voluptuous, generous full-flavoured, long sweet flavours. Gentle tannins, bright acids and fruits. Very dark, but balanced and clean. Pleasant, contained alcohol. Some chocolate and anise notes. Some herbal spice notes too.

Cirerets 2008 (garnacha 60% 20 yrs, carignena 40% 60 yrs)
More red fruits than black, spicier currants and red cherries. Very carignan strong. Great concentration and density, very lively and youthful. Generosity of acid and fruit, tannins balanced and harmonious. Something unique and special in the wine, no savoury elements though. Certainly interesting.

La Basseta 2008
Pretty intense dark colour. Slight menthol dark cassis earthy, toasty sweet oak. Quite velvety and opulent, very intense dark fruits, good carry-through but a clean finish. A very easy to drink wine, but with good character, balance and depth.

La Creu Alta 2007
Inky black, bold fruit and darkness, very sweet and juicy, juby jammy on the nose. Fantastic structure, depth, builds on the palate very nicely, will really benefit with a lot of age. The structure is fantastic

Artigas 2011 Blanco
Juicy soft generous fruit-driven white wine. Good minerality and texture, very full and broad, not exactly fresh or bright. Ripe tropical notes, some creamy characters. Some citrus elements as well.

Cellars of Mas Alta

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Alvaro Palacios – 4/06/2012

Camins del Priorat 2010

Very bright and floral, purple black fruits, blackberries. Very fruit-sweet and intense, black fruit conserve, blood plum, black cherry, blackcurrant. Bold forward rich, vibrant juicy, dense tannins but very fresh and clean.

Les Terrasess 2010 (Velles Vinyes)

Earthier more concentrated and mineralic, savoury spicy liquorice. Fine and balanced, great length and integrity. Generous silky tannins and mature fruit characters. Density of fruit, vibrant integrated oak and acid. Very young and a little closed and unexpressive for the time being.

Gratallops 2010 Vi de la Vila

Very unusual smell of abalone, crushed violets and black forest fruits. Much more intense, very full and powerful tannins, some sweetness of oak and lot’s of fruit sweetness. Savoury raisined black fruit, quite extractive and dense, full texture and warmth. New world? Modern wine? Typically Spanish?

Finca Dofi 2010

Juby blackcurrants and blueberries, dark earth notes, blue slate. A little gentler in structure and tannins, nonetheless intense and dark. Newer oak characters, fruit forward and fairly straightforward. Am I tasting the wines too young? Am I missing something? Has the potential to be amazing, but really not seeing a lot that makes it extraordinary. Taste some older wines perhaps?
Alvaro Palacios tasting

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Clos Mogador – 4/06/2012

Manyettes 2003
Bright floral red currants, mineralic red earth, slightly talcy. Core of sweet red fruit, very mature, slight cheesy texture and mature red cheese taste. Very fine and elegant, delicate refined. Nice expression, approachable balanced and fruit forward. Probably a product of the vintage in terms of ripeness and fruit sweetness and silkiness.

Manyettes 2009 (90% carignan, 10% grenache)

More green floral notes, grain notes, bright flinty and crisp. Dense, intense fruit, younger and more expressive at the moment. A very unique floral aroma. Juicy and bright, like juice. Like alcoholic grape and blackcurrant juice. Lovely bright clean purple colour.

Clos Mogador 2008 (46% grenache, 21% carignan, 19% cabernet sauvignon, 14% syrah)

Similar unique aromatics to the 2009 Manyettes, kind of a menthol, herbal tea, aniseed bush, rosemary combination. Very bright purple colour, quite intense. Bright fresh juicy black fruit, slight crispness of some tropical flavours. Very different to the reds of France and Italy, true terroir wine.

Clos Mogador 2009 (44% grenache, 21% carignan, 19% cabernet sauvignon, 16% syrah)

Earthier meatier fuller nose, kind of like peanut butter jelly belly. Popcorn butter, dark red fuits, juby cassis notes. Denser darker fruit, more mellow and fuller in flavour, quite different in character to the 2008 vintage, you really see the difference between vintages. Powerful forward youthful expression, plenty of sweet characters.

Clos Mogador 2010

Amazingly complex, very subtle green notes, herbal spice. Dense concentrated but very fine tannins and fruit. Focused yet very soft and gentle, needing time to open up and express itself. Purity of fruit and minerality, builds on the palate, teeth staining but not heavy or hot. Still quite fresh and generous. Another winner from the 2010 vintage in Europe.

Nellin 2008 (white grenache, macabeu, viognier, pinot noir, escanyavelles, pedro ximenez)

Quite a bright sweet tropical fruit nose, pineapples, limes, kiwis, grapefruits, almost smells like a riesling. Intense vibrant, powerful yet very complex. Oak giving a nice subtle texture and crunchy character. Ripeness and concentration of fruit, dense dark minerality. Very tropical and full-flavoured but not overripe and sweet. A tad warm and phenolic, but very pleasant overall.

Marc de Priorat

Very pure and bright, fresh and quite smooth. Good fruit notes, very concentrated. A fairly subtle nose for a Grappa. Soft and gentle, nice digestif.
Clos Mogador and Manyetes

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