Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
Like the dark red ruby the color of this wine resembles, Nita is a rare gem from the Spanish appellation of Priorat. From a region typically known for its concentrated barrel-aged reds, this wine is one of only a few jovens, or non-barrel aged wines, made within this celebrated appellation. Uneffectedby the toasted notes and wood tannins that barrel aging can produce, the 2009 Nita is perfect for those who want to taste the fruit and terroir of a wine in its purest form. Brain child of young female winemaker Meritxell Pallejà, this wine retains all of the characteristic mineralityof Priorat, while better preserving the complex fruit flavors of the old-vine Garnachaand Cariñena. Containing a primary bouquet of ripe red berries, violets and flint, this wine also has beautiful notes of tobacco, chocolate and fresh cream. As the wine also has lower alcohol thanmost Priorat wines, the 2009 Nita is fresh and easy to drink, with good acidity and juicy tannins that support a long finish.
The Wine Advocate - "The 2009 Nita is a rare, value-priced Priorat that over-delivers in a big way. This unoaked cuvee, made by Meritxell Palleja from purchased fruit, is a blend of 45% Garnacha, 35% Carinena, with the balance Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. It displays a fragrant bouquet of liquid minerality, lavender, incense, black cherry, and black raspberry. This leads to a concentrated, forward, savory offering with layers of ripe fruit, succulent flavors, good acidity, and excellent freshness. Although it has the stuffing to evolve for several years, it can be approached now. It is a great introduction to the DO of Priorat."
International Wine Cellar - "Glass-staining ruby. Raspberry, cherry-cola and spices on the highly fragrant nose. Sweet and supple in texture, with lush red and dark berry flavors, notes of white pepper and violet and no rough edges. Expands on the finish, which features juicy cherry and blackberry qualities. I find this awfully delicious right now but it has the depth to age."
Nita is a rare gem from Priorat, a region typically known for its concentrated barrel-aged reds, because it is one of the only unoaked "vino jovens," or young wines, made in this famous appellation. The creation of young winemaker Maritxell Palleja, Nita retains all the characteristic minerality of a Priorat wine, while showcasing the dense fruit flavors of old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena.
Maritxell Palleja is the third generation of her family to have been raised in Priorat, where her great-grandmother Anita built their first family home, “Cal Nita,” the namesake of this wine. After finishing her undergraduate degree in agricultural engineering, Palleja spent a harvest and crush in the Napa Valley and in Bordeaux. She then returned to Priorat and became assistant enologist for Alvaro Palacios, before obtaining her graduate degree in enology and creating her own label, Nita. Palleja carefully selects old-vine Garnacha and Cariñena grapes from the steep, slate-covered vineyards, where low yields produce wines of great expression and complexity. A biodynamic producer, Palleja aligns her vineyard management with lunar and seasonal cycles. View all Nita 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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review3.5 }div>3.3 out of 5 stars
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3 ratings, 2 with reviewsPrioRad - Reisterstown, MD45/10/2013Excellent wine for 2009 vintageTracy Adams - Dublin, OH25firstname.lastname@example.org - Kimberling City, MO44/16/2013
I think it should be rated closer to 85, and I am one who loves Priorat wines.Related Products
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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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