Vall Llach Priorat 2005
Other Red Wine from Priorat, Spain
A blend of 65% Cariñena, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. 15% Syrah and 5% Merlot.
In the rolling hills of Porrera, within the winemaking region of Priorat, grow the ancient vines of Celler Vall Llach. Dating back over 100 years, many of their vines are pre-phylloxera and provide Vall Llach's flagship wine with its characteristic elegant structure and individual character. The proprietary blend is soft and sultry, possessing a unique blend of mineral, rich dark fruit and Mediterranean herb flavors. The estate recommends opening this wine one hour before serving to permit it to fully blossom in the glass.
The Wine Advocate - "The flagship 2005 Vall-Llach is composed of 65% Carinena, 15% Syrah, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Merlot aged for 12 months in new French oak. Many of the Carinena vines for this cuvee are pre-phylloxera. Opaque purple-colored, it offers up a splendid aromatic array including pain grille, slate, mushroom, espresso, garrigue, blueberry, and black currant. Opulent, full-bodied, and rich, this pedal to the metal Priorat possesses 8-10 years of aging potential. The winery claims it can be cellared for up to 50 years; that could well prove true although many of us will not be around to find out or our delay of gratification will have long given out."
Wine Enthusiast - "For the second vintage in a row, Vall Llach’s signature red blend is out on its own. The bouquet is round and deep, with alluring cola, mint and blackberry aromas. The palate is alive but still quite dark, with huge black plum and blackberry flavors. Super long on the finish, with a subtle streak of vanilla and coconut. Delicious but also deft. 450 cases produced."
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.