Vall Llach Idus 2006
Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
Idus is the result of a close collaboration between the Vall Llach estate and owners of trossos, or small vineyard blocks, who cultivate old-vine Cariñena and Garnacha. These ancient vineyards, located near the towns of Porrera and Torroja, Priorat, produce the essential Priorat character of this wine. The head-pruned, tiny "bonsai" vines yield naturally concentrated fruit that produce a wine ruby red in color with aromas of black licorice, marzipan, nutmeg and allspice. On the palate Idus is unctuous and mineral-rich with a very long finish. Meant to drink now or age for up to 30 years, this wine should be opened a half hour before consuming and served between 55-60ºC.
40% Cariñena, 20% Merlot, 15% Garnacha, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Syrah.
Wine Spectator - "A dense, rich and chewy red, showing dark chocolate, black cherry and licorice flavors, with fig pudding and mineral notes. Muscular tannins are balanced by lively acidity. Best from 2012 through 2020."
Wine Enthusiast - "Another exellent Idus. The nose is jammed full of big berry, leather and earth aromas. In the mouth, it's pure to the hilt, with jammy depth and delicious flavors of blackberry, chocolate and licorice. Finishes toasty and creamy, with soft tannins and ease. Drink now through 2015."
The Wine Advocate - "The purple-colored 2006 Idus is made up of 40% Carinena, 20% Merlot, 15% Garnacha, and the balance Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah aged in a mix of new and used French oak for 14 months. It reveals a fragrant nose of cedar, spice box (nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon), mineral, black cherry, and licorice. Structured and a bit tightly wound on the palate, it has plenty of extract, savory flavors, excellent balance, and a lengthy finish. Give it 4-6 years in the cellar and drink it from 2014 to 2026."
International Wine Cellar - "Inky ruby. Ripe cherry and plum aromas are complemented by suggestions of dried rose and violet, along with a touch of anise. Fleshy and smooth on the palate, offering rich dark fruit flavors and a late note of bitter chocolate. The finish repeats the cherry and anise notes and clings with very good tenacity."
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Vall Llach Winery
From its founding in the early 1990s, by famed Spanish singer Lluís Llach and notary Enric Costa, Vall Llach winemaking has been governed by a commitment to rigor and quality. The winery lies in the tiny village of Porerra, in southern Catalonia, in the highly-acclaimed D.O.Q. Priorat. Here, the magnificent century-old vineyard estates of Vall Llach are home to 60- to 90-year-old Cariñena and Garnacha vines.
Old vines naturally produce low yields, and Vall Llach reduces yields even further through careful vineyard management for densely concentrated wines. Vineyards climb steep slate hillsides, receiving optimum sun exposure and beneficial water deprivation, further concentrating the fruit. Newer plantings of Garnacha, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah add complexity to the old-vine character, and the resulting wines - Vall Llach, Idus, and Embruix - have received high critical acclaim. View all Vall Llach 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.
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