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Cellar Pinol Ludovicus Tinto 2014
Vinos Piñol enjoys a high Mediterranean, with very hot days and cold nights with moderate rains. This climate allows the grapes to ripen very well during the day and slowly during the night, allowing the acidity and the skin-to-juice ratio to build up to the necessary level to have a well-balanced wine. The vineyards are well-protected by the high mountains surrounding Batea.
Limestone on the surface layer and clay on the inside layer, the soils of Vinos Piñol are poor in organic matter. This causes the vines produce lower yields, creating more concentrated grapes. With old family-owned vineyards, small production, organic farming, and the same climate conditions as Priorat, Vinos Piñol has become known for a beautiful selection of wines.
The highest wine growing zone in Spanish Cataluña, Terra Alta is south of Priorat and Montsant. Here growers are following the trends of Priorat, recovering Garnacha blanca vines for white wines and focusing on quality red blends.
Enjoying great glory across a variety of appellations, Grenache thrives in any warm, Mediterranean climate where ample sunlight allows its clusters to achieve full phenolic ripeness. The grape typically produces full-bodied reds interestingly light in both color and tannins. While it can make a charmingly complex single varietal wine, it also lends well to blending. Grenache's birthplace is Spain (there called Garnacha) where it remains important, particularly in Priorat where winemakers enjoy great liberties in blending Grenache with other varieties. Today it might be most well associated with the red blends of the Southern Rhône, namely Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Côtes du Rhône and its Villages. The Italian island of Sardinia produces bold, rustic Grenache (there called Cannonau) whereas in California, Washington and Australia, Grenache has achieved popularity both flying solo and in blends.
In the Glass
In sufficiently warm conditions, Grenache produces smooth and generous wines that are loaded with strawberry, cherry blackberry, purple plum and in the richest examples, even cocoa, black tea or licorice.
Despite its bold flavors, Grenache has very mild-mannered tannins, which makes it eminently quaffable on its own, yet easy to match with food. Because of its friendly nature, Grenache is the ultimate barbecue red, pairing happily with lamb chops, pork loin or tri-tip. Unlike most other full-bodied reds, Grenache’s low tannin level ensures that it will not easily be fazed by a bit of spice.
Sardinia is often revered for its association with a long and healthy life. Residents of the Italian island often live well into their 90s and beyond, crediting this to their antioxidant-rich red wines, like Cannonau, along with their healthy Mediterranean diet.