Vall Llach Priorat 2006
Other Red Blends from Priorat, Spain
"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 Spectator - "Rich and bold, this expressive red delivers black cherry, blackberry, espresso, mineral and mountain herb flavors that are intense and complex, yet focused and balanced. The firm tannins are well-integrated, while the acidity is bright and refreshing. Drink now through 2021. 283 cases imported. "
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Vall-Llach is 65% Carinena, 20% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon aged for 14 months in 100% new French oak. Opaque purple in color, the nose offers up pain grille, liquid mineral, scorched earth, herbs, incense, and assorted black fruits. Layered, dense, and still a bit ungiving, this powerful, full-bodied wine has gobs of succulent fruit in reserve, plenty of ripe tannin, and a lengthy finish. Allow 6-8 years of additional cellaring and drink it from 2016 to 2030. 94+"
Wine Enthusiast - "Earthy and deep as midnight, with spice, floral notes, herbal aromas, tobacco and mocha. The palate is super rich, almost to the point of syrup, with blackberry, brown sugar and coffee flavors. Finishes chewy, ripe and deep, with no harshness or tannic grind. Drink now through 2013."
International Wine Cellar - "Opaque purple. Powerful, intensely perfumed scents of dark berry preserves, cherry pit, cola, licorice and smoky Indian spices. Deeply concentrated but with unlikely vivacity too, offering sweet blackberry and boysenberry flavors underscored by tangy minerality. Finishes with strong mineral cut and lingering notes of sweet dark berries and star anise."
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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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