Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 110

IMPORTED NEW RELEASES
95 | Sara y René Viticultors $72

2009 Priorat Gratallops Partida Bellvisos Garnatxa Peluda Caranyana de Coster ^
Bellvisos is a steep vineyard that winemakers Sara Pérez and René Barbier rescued in
2002. They had thought it was planted to
cariñena, but when the plants came to life
again, they realized that almost half was garnacha peluda (now 80 years old). It turned
out to be a happy mistake, as garnacha ripens
earlier than cariñena and, according to Pérez,
sustains greater freshness. The duo captures
that freshness here in a wine that feels lively
and crisp, reminiscent of ripe strawberries. A
fine layer of slate seems to run through the
wine, suggesting the soils where these old
vines grow. Wild and lush, this needs lamb. §
Michael Skurnik Wines, NY
224138

95 | Terroir Al Limit

$290

2014 Priorat Torroja Les Tosses ^ Melding
floral notes, brilliant red fruits and hints of
stones, this is a complex and multilayered
expression of cariñena. It comes from a steep
vineyard planted 90 years ago around the
town of Torroja, in the center of Priorat. Firm
and expansive, it has the energy of a young
red, but without the harsh tannins normally
associated with cariñena. Dominik Huber
aged the wine for around two years, undisturbed, in a single 1,200-liter foudre. It will
age with grace for the next decade. § Europa
Wine Imports, Charlotte, NC
224336

94 | Costers del Priorat

$75

2014 Priorat Clos Cyprus Vinyes Velles
Samso ^ Clos Cyprus comes from the slate
soils of the San Martí vineyard, in Bellmunt,
south of Priorat, one of the warmest zones
of the appellation. However, winemaker José
Mas manages to transport the sun from Bellmunt without carrying the heat. This 100 percent old-vine carignan is on the fruity side,
the enveloping red-berry flavors guided by
spices and herbs, as well as a tense, refreshing
acidity. Delicious now, give this three to four
years more in the cellar to gain in complexity. §
De Maison Selections, Chapel Hill, NC

224014

94 | Genium Celler

$45

2012 Priorat Poboleda ^ Despite the weight
of its ripe fruit, this wine has the structure
to support it. A blend of garnacha (70 percent) and carignan, all off of very old vineyards around the village of Poboleda, this
110

WINE & SPIRITS

OCTOBER 2017

needs years in the cellar, so that those deep
red fruit flavors acquire nuance. The acidity,
firm, always on guard, is the guarantee of longevity. § Grapes of Spain, Lorton, VA
224181

94 | Família Nin-Ortiz

$100

2015 Priorat Nit de Nin Mas d'En Caçador ^
Mas d'En Caçador is one of the highest vineyards in Priorat, seven acres of black soil, rich
in slate, at an altitude of more than 2,100 feet
in the mountains of Porrera. Ester Nin, partner in Nin-Ortiz, believes that some of these
vines are more than 100 years old. The cool
north-facing orientation of the slope gives
a delicious freshness to the fruit, with initial floral and mineral scents that gain more
prominence in the flavor. The slate shows
strongly in the firm and elegant tannins, the
wine medium in body, but with great depth. §
Eric Solomon Selections/European Cellars,
Charlotte, NC

224012

93 | Genium Celler

$40

2012 Priorat ^ About half garnacha, the rest a
mix of syrah, merlot, cariñena and cabernet,
this is blended from the fruit of eight vineyards in different villages of Priorat. Smoky
and generous in sweet spice, it feels simultaneously exotic and tremendously fruity,
almost as intense as ripe blackberries and
raspberries in syrup. It's big and impressive,
ready now for lamb tagine. § Grapes of Spain,
Lorton, VA
224009

93 | Mas Igneus

$24

2014 Priorat Barranc dels Closos (Best
Buy) ^ This wine is a blend of garnacha (60
percent) and cariñena, old vines grown in the
town of Poboleda. It's delicious, if imposing,
in the wall of red fruit flavors it presents, very
fresh, full of acidity and sweetness in equal
parts. It needs time in the bottle to gain complexity; wait at least three years. § Opici Wines,
Glen Rock, NJ
224185

93 | Família Nin-Ortiz

$50

2015 Priorat Porrera Planetes de Nin Partida Les Planetes ^ Carles Ortiz planted Los
Planetes in the late 1990s, a 12-acre parcel

of schist soils facing east on the outskirts of
Porrera. Farmed biodynamically and vinified
with 70 percent whole clusters and ambient
yeasts, it's funky at first, smelling of barnyards and blood. Little by little, these aromas mix with fresh fruit, the wine turning
into a delicious and complex red, refreshing
and alive. § Eric Solomon Selections/European
Cellars, Charlotte, NC
224112

93 | Alvaro Palacios

$42

93 | Scala Dei

$55

93 | Terroir Al Limit

$50

93 | Terroir Al Limit

$90

2015 Priorat Les Terrasses Vielles Vinyes ^
Palacios blends Les Terrasses from garnacha
and cariñena grown in different areas of Priorat, presenting an overarching vision of the
region's wines. And that vision in 2015 is rich
in herbal notes, tension and freshness, speaking clearly of the new style of Priorat reds.
However, behind these bright, crystalline flavors, there are notes of spice and riper fruit
flavors that give the wine a delicious depth. §
The Rare Wine Co., Sonoma, CA
224107
2013 Priorat Cartoixa ^ Scala Dei has some
of the highest-altitude vineyards in Priorat,
which make for consistently sharp and firm
reds. This blend of garnacha and cariñena, all
from old vineyards, is a good example. Right
now, this is an impenetrable wine, filled with
layers of tannins, red and black fruits, as well
as curry and black-pepper spice. With time in
the glass, the acidity weaves its way through
the darkness, bringing vigor and freshness
to the wine, and suggesting that this will be
even better with another two to three years in
bottle. § Aveníu Brands, Baltimore, MD
224166
2015 Priorat Torroja ^ Dominik Huber
selects garnacha and cariñena from vineyards between 50 and 70 years old for this
village wine. He begins the vinification with
whole clusters, letting ambient yeasts do the
work, then moves the juice into cement tanks
and foudres to finish fermenting. It's a pure
and deliciously fresh expression of Priorat,
the flavors focused on ripe red fruit, with delicate floral and herbal notes in a generous
texture. There's a sense of the region's slate
soils in the wine's mineral tones but, at the
same time, it's easy and refreshing to drink. §
Eric Solomon Selections/European Cellars,
Charlotte, NC
224136
2014 Priorat Torroja Arbossar ^ Many people in Priorat believe that north-facing vineyards are too cold for cariñena to ripen,
but Arbossar proves this wrong. This one
comes off of a vineyard that's 90-some years


http://www.grapesofspain.com/wineries.cfm?wineryid=19 http://www.grapesofspain.com/wineries.cfm?wineryid=19

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Wine & Spirits - October 2017

Contents
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover1
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover2
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 1
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 2
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 3
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 4
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Contents
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 6
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 7
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 8
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - 9
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Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover3
Wine & Spirits - October 2017 - Cover4
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