Onix Priorat 2009
Rhone Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
Onix Classic is a blend of 50% Grenache and 50% Carignan. The combination of both varietals makes a wine of deep purple color with a bouquet of dark plums, sweet black cherries and a hint of rosemary. The low yielding vines provide intense fruit flavors carried by soft round tannins and touch of black pepper in the finish.
The Wine Advocate - "The unoaked 2009 Onix Classic is a blend of 50% Carinena and 50% Garnacha sourced from vines over 60 years of age. Tempting aromas of liquid minerality, Asian spices, incense, black cherry, and black plum inform the nose of this savory, smooth, intensely flavored effort from an excellent vintage. Layered, spicy, and long, it finishes with no hard edges. Drink this outstanding value over the next 4-5 years. "
Vinicola del Priorat has spent a great deal of money in upgrading its facilities with the latest in winemaking technology. After years of selling their wines in bulk to the rest of the producers in Priorato, they hired a young and dynamic winemaker, and started producing high-quality bottled wines. In summary, it has been a complete overhaul. The winery is located in the town of Gratallops in the heart of Priorato, province of Tarragona .
This winery today controls about 60% of all the production in Priorat. The grape varieties are 54% Mazuela, 40% Garnacha and 2% Garnacha Blanca. The vineyards are located at an altitude between 600 and 3,000 feet above sea level. The vines are trained in the vaso shape system. The soils are mostly dark slate known in Priorato as Licorellas in the areas of higher altitudes, intertwined with pebbles of quartzite. View all Onix Wines
About PrioratView a map of Priorat wineries (pree-ohr-aht) Spain, sparking envy among collectors. The region has become something of a cult wine producer, creating wines that cost up to 5 times that of a quality Rioja. The region has a special soil, called llicorella made of a brown slate mixed together with rocks. Mountains surround the area and the vines are tended by hand.
Notable FactsThe red wines here are based on Garnacha, and produce inky wine with intense fruit flavors of blackberry and plums, not to mention a required minimum of 13.5% alcohol. The secondary grape of the region is Carinena (Carignan in France). This grape has lost favor in most parts of the world due to its rustic nature, but here in Priorat it's a welcome structural addition to the Garnacha based wines.
The most popular red varieties of Spain include Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache). Whites don't garner quite as much recognition, but there are some regional varieties not to be missed, like Albarino and Verdejo. The popular red regions of Spain include Rioja, known for its outstanding wines of the Tempranillo grape; Ribera del Duero, producing high quality reds from Tempranillo and Garnacha; Galacia, with the sub-region of Rias Baixas, home to the deliciously crisp and floral Albarino grape; and Priorat, a region increasing in popularity with its high-quality cult reds. Other regions of note are Rueda, growing the Verdejo grape, La Mancha, a wide desert region, covered in the most planted white variety in the world, Airen, and Jumilla, making wines based on Monastrell (Mourvedre).
Spain's wine laws are based on the Denominacion de Origen (DO) classification system, devised in the 1930's. A four tiered system, the most basic level is Vina de Mesa (table wine) followed by Vino de la Tierra (country wine), DO and at the top DOC. Currently, only Rioja and Priorat have DOC status, while over 65 DO's scatter the country.
Most DO regions are classified and regulated by how long they age the wines. On a red wine label, one may find the terms Crianza, Reserva or Gran Reserva, denoting the wine's barrel and bottle time. Crianza is usually two years between barrel and bottle (the time in each depends on the DO and/or the winemaker), Reserva up to 4 years and Gran Reserva 5 – 6 years. Classifications of each region and wine are controlled by the region's Consejo Regulador.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.