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Marc Ripoll Sans Black Slate Priorat 2009

Other Red Wine from Priorat, Spain
  • RP90
14.5% ABV
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Displays strong minerality with aromas of cedar, black cherry, and black currant.

46% Garnacha, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 2% Syrah

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Black Slate from the village of Gratallops is a blend of 46% Garnacha, 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, with the balance Merlot and Syrah aged for 12 months in French and American oak. It displays more minerality along with slightly reticent aromas of cedar, black cherry, and black currant. On the palate it displays some potential but is currently playing it close to the vest. It seems to have the right stuff but will require another 2-3 years to fully display its personality. Both Black Slate wines are nicely priced Priorats.
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Marc Ripoll Sans

Marc Ripoll Sans

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Marc Ripoll Sans, Priorat, Spain
Cellers Ripoll Sans was established in 2000 when Marc Ripoll, a young man in his early twenties, returned to the Priorat to restore his family's winery in the village of Gratallops. Prior to his arrival, the harvest from the family's estate vineyards was sold to the local cooperative. Over the last few years, Marc has restored the old winery and built Closa Battlet into one of the top estates in the region.

While preserving the historical structure of the winery, Marc has updated the building to incorporate modern winemaking techniques, though always in small volumes and in a highly manual way. Its production is based on grape selections from its estate vineyards, some as old as 90 years, cultivated on hillsides with slate soil. The wines made in this way have their own unique personality stemming from the endeavor to convey all the special features of the terrain.

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.

RGL0209347_2009 Item# 114115