Laurona Montsant 2003
It was the first - and remains the leading - private winery in the region dedicated to the production of high quality wines from the superbly situated vineyards that surround the now famous Priorat appellation. The potential here was recognised shortly afterwards with the creation of a new D.O. Montsant, covering the villages around Falset and at the foot of the imposing Montsant mountain.
The wines are made from the various varieties planted in the area, mainly old vine Grenache and Carignan, plus newer plantings of Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Ageing of the 'regular' Laurona is in 500 litre oak casks, a large proportion of which are new. The Seleccio de 6 Vinyes is actually micro-fermented in the oak casks, adding to the complexity of the wine.
These are wines of remarkable depth and smoothness. At the same time Laurona has wonderful lively fruit and rich spicy flavours that linger on a long soft finish.
The origin of the name Laurona dates back to Roman times when Pliny the Elder mentioned only one single vineyard of distinction from Tarragona called Laurona. It was quoted by him as being of high quality. Now in the 21st century, Christopher and René are making every attempt to revive the excellent reputation enjoyed by Laurona some 2000 years ago. Two of the first 5 vintages of Laurona have made the Wine Spectator Top 100 list, which would indicate that they are succeeding!
Spanish red wine is known for being bold, heady, rustic and age-worthy, Spain is truly a one-of-a-kind wine-producing nation. A great majority of the country is hot, arid and drought-ridden, and since irrigation has only been recently introduced and (controversially) accepted, viticulture has sustained—and flourished—only through a great understanding of Spain’s particular conditions. Large spacing between vines allows each enough resources to survive and as a result, the country has the most acreage under vine compared to any other country, but is usually third in production.
Of the Spanish red wines, the most planted and respected grape variety is Tempranillo, the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. Priorat specializes in bold red blends, Jumilla has gained global recognition for its single varietal Monastrell and Utiel-Requena has garnered recent attention for its reds made of Bobal.