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Celler Cecilio L'Espill Priorat 1998

Other Red Wine from Priorat, Spain
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    Celler Cecilio

    Celler Cecilio

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    Celler Cecilio, Priorat, Spain
    Image of winery
    Celler Cecilio is located in Gratallops, in the heart of Priorat, and was the first winery registered in the D.O.Ca. It is a family estate dedicated to making and bottling wine since 1942, established and founded by Cecilio Vicent, father of the current owner and winemaker, August. When Cecilio, a native of Valencia, settled in the Priorat, he met and married into a family with many hectares of vineyards. At this time, these vineyards had been neglected, so Cecilio set about restoring them ­- first selling his grapes to the local cooperative while studying winemaking. Finally in 1942 he began bottling his own wines in a small stable that he renovated into a cellar and which is still in operation today under the stewardship of his son August Vicent.

    Vicent farms four vineyard sites in Gratallops and one in El Lloar – 9 hectares in total. The oldest vines are located in Els Espills where the Garnatxa and Carinyena are 80 years old. His remaining plots, El Plana, Mas d’en Corral, La Sort and L’Aubada were replanted starting in the 1980s and finishing with L’Aubada which has converted from an olive grove to a vineyard in 2004. These newer sites are planted with Garnatxa Negra, Garnatxa Blanca, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.

    Tiny and entirely composed of craggy, jagged and deeply terraced vineyards, Priorat is a Catalan wine-producing region that was virtually abandoned until the early 1990s. Its renaissance came with the arrival of one man, René Barbier, who recognized the region’s forgotten potential. He banded with five friends to create five “Clos” in the village of Gratallops. Their aim was to revive some of Priorat’s ancient Carignan vines, as well as plant new—mainly French—varieties. These winemakers were technically skilled, well-trained and locally inspired; not surprisingly their results were a far cry from the few rustic and overly fermented wines already produced.

    This movement escalated Priorat’s popularity for a few reasons. Its new wines were modern and made with well-recognized varieties, namely old Carignan and Grenache blended with Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. When the demand arrived, scarcity commanded higher prices and as the region discovered its new acclaim, investors came running from near and far. Within ten years, the area under vine practically doubled.

    Priorat’s steep slopes of licorella (brown and black slate) and quartzite soils, protection from the cold winds of the Siera de Monstant and a lack of water, leading to incredibly low vine yields, all work together to make the region’s wines unique. While similar blends could and are produced elsewhere, the mineral essence and unprecedented concentration of a Priorat wine is unmistakable.

    Other Red Wine

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    Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.

    PIM23329_1998 Item# 44237