Melis Elix Priorat 2006
Other Red Wine from Priorat, Spain
The 2006 Elix shows a deep purple color, with aromas of dark plum, blackberry and leather, as well as unique mineral notes derived from the licorella slate of our vineyards. The palate is well balanced, with good texture indicative of mature tannins, and a smooth finish. We recommend decanting this wine 30 to 60 minutes prior to drinking.
Wine Spectator - "Bright and juicy, this supple red offers berry, tart cherry, garrigue and mineral notes that remain focused and intense through the long finish. Vivid and intense. Drink now through 2014. 750 cases made."
Wine & Spirits - "Herbal notes give an extra dimension of freshness to this potent red, formidable in concentration. It is almost unctuous in texture, while its sweet red fruit lasts with a pleasant, juicy character."
International Wine Cellar - "Inky purple color. Sexy aromas of cherry-vanilla, blackberry and oak spices, with a subtle mineral underpinning. Round and gently sweet in the mouth, offering brighter red berry character and repeating oak spices. Velvety tannins gain strength on the finish but don't distract from the lush fruit. Drink this fruit bomb in the near term."
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The Melis vineyard is a prime Priorat estate, ranging in elevation from 800 to 1,200 feet with steep terraces of dense volcanic schist and llicorella slate, attributes that contribute to both the signature intensity and minerality of fine Priorat wines. Located near the 13th century town of Torroja del Priorat, the vineyard's exceptional microclimate benefits from broad access to the Mediterranean Garbinada winds, balancing the vineyard's warm southern exposure with a cooling maritime breeze.
Melis is guided by its team's defining philosophy: that the wine should honor and reflect the wild, earthy richness of Priorat's traditional varietals and terroir, while achieving world-class balance and elegance. Melis' dedicated vineyard crew practice assiduous crop and canopy management to produce extremely low yields of intense, ripe fruit. In the winery, great care is taken to gently shape the forceful tannins of the traditional Priorat varietals. The Melis winemaking team focuses on small but crucial details, from hand harvesting into refrigerated containers and diligent hand sorting prior to crushing, to the incorporation of large Burgundian cooperage into the fermentation and aging program to ensure that the wines remain balanced and are not overwhelmed by oak. View all Melis Wines
About Priorat(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.